RCA Announces Coaching Changes


VICTORIA, BC, Thursday, September 22, 2016 – Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) announced that John Keogh, Performance Director of the Women’s Program in London, Ontario will not be returning to lead the program through the next quadrennial. Keogh has accepted a position at Rowing Australia.

Keogh joined RCA’s High Performance Program in 2010 and led the Women’s Eight to a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He is a four-time recipient of the Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award and has been part of a strong women’s program that has seen eight World Championship podium appearances, along with World Cup and international regatta successes in that time frame.

“I have enjoyed my time in Canada and it has been a privilege to work with the athletes, coaches and support staff,” said Keogh. “In my first two years working in Canada, I was fortunate to work alongside Al Morrow, one of Canada’s most decorated coaches, and made a point of listening and learning from someone who has had many successes as a coach. There have been many significant changes to how Rowing Canada supports their athletes in the daily training environment, I am proud that I was part of the driving force in helping to shape those changes.”

In Victoria, Martin McElroy is also leaving his post as Performance Director of the Men’s Program.

McElroy took on the task of building a new program focus and made strides in advancing the performance of athletes working under his direction. At the 2015 FISA World Championships the Men’s Four placed fourth, less than a second behind third place Great Britain. The Men’s Four went on to finish sixth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, along with an eighth place finish by the Men’s Quadruple Sculls.

“After three and a half intense and challenging years as Performance Director of the Men’s Heavyweight Program in Victoria, it’s time for someone else to pick up the challenge,” said McElroy. “After a turbulent transition post-London, we made progress but there is still more to be done.”

He added, “Rowing Canada is heading in the right direction with its underlying strategy. It’s a big challenge to do things differently, needing the same resilience and toughness as we expect from Canadian athletes. I loved my time at Rowing Canada and I’m proud of many of the changes that we made. Sometimes it takes someone new and a new approach to renew the energy in the fight. I am okay with that – I made my contribution.”

“John and Martin have both been valued members of the coaching staff and will be missed by a number of the staff and athletes that they have worked with over the years,” said Donna Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer, RCA.  “We would like to sincerely thank them both for their many contributions to Canadian rowing and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”

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