VICTORIA, Saturday, December 17, 2016 –Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) is pleased to announce today that Michelle Darvill, Dave Thompson and Terry Paul have been named as the senior national team coaches with John Wetzstein as senior coach (Para) for the start of the upcoming season. Thompson will be joining current coaches Darvill, Paul and Wetzstein as of January 3, 2017.
“I am very pleased to have this opportunity to join Rowing Canada,” said Thompson. “Having coached against them, there is no question to Canada’s history as a powerhouse in big boat rowing. I’m determined to continue Canada’s tradition of success and see our athletes on the podium. I am excited to begin work with our athletes, fellow coaches and the wider staff of Rowing Canada.”
Campaign will kick off on January 3 with a full team intake camp in Victoria, B.C. with athletes preparing for Speed Orders and Selection Camp from May 12 – 14 in Burnaby, B.C.
Darvill has been involved in coaching since 1992 at the university, club and international levels. Darvill began working with the Canada’s under-23 women’s team in 2009. This summer, Darvill coached the women’s pair of Nicole Hare and Hillary Janssens to a gold at the World Rowing Under-23 Championships. She also coached the women’s eight in 2011 and the women’s four in 2012 to gold at the World Rowing Under-23 Championships.
Darvill retired from rowing in 2000 after having competed for both Canada and Germany, winning World Championship gold in three different lightweight boat classes.
Paul has coached extensively in the rowing system with both the Canadian and Swiss national teams. Most recently, he coached the men’s quadruple sculls to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Paul coached the men’s coxed four to a gold medal at the 2014 World Rowing Under-23 Championships. The following year, he led the men’s quadruple sculls to a gold medal and the men’s four to a bronze at the World Under-23 Championships. In 2008, he coached the Canadian men’s pair to a silver medal at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Paul competed for Canada as a cox in the men’s eight, winning a gold medal at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
Thompson joins RCA having previously coached for seven years with Rowing New Zealand where he most recently led the women’s pair to a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Thompson’s many successes included multiple medals at the World Cup and World Championships level since 2009. He has led teams to silver medals at the past three World Championships with the women’s eight and women’s pair in 2015 and a repeat of the lightweight men’s four in 2013 and 2014.
Wetzstein has led Canada’s Para-Rowing program since October 2015. At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, he coached the LTAMix4+ to a bronze, Canada’s first ever medal in Para-Rowing. Wetzstein joined RCA in 2011 having previously coached at the club, university and provincial levels.
Additional coaching hires will be reviewed following the appointment of a High Performance Director in the new year.