International Appointment for Scottish Rowing
Canadian coach Sean Leyland has been appointed to the two part-time posts of Head of Performance Rowing at the University of Edinburgh and Performance Development Coach for Scottish Rowing.
The 33-year-old from Ontario joins following a successful professional coaching career that has included spells working in the United States of America, Australia and most recently his native Canada.
Developing young athletes through the junior and under 23 ranks features high on Sean’s extensive coaching resume, including a number of years working for the West Australian Institute of Sport, during which time he coached crews to World Junior Championship level.
Sean’s appointment comes as a result of an exciting new partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Scottish Rowing, creating the first professional rowing coaching post within the Scottish Higher Education sector.
An exciting opportunity awaits Sean at the University of Edinburgh. He will be tasked with providing rowing specific leadership and direction to one of the country’s leading sporting institutions, and most established rowing communities, in Edinburgh University Boat Club. His role will complement the existing portfolio of world class facilities, top class support services and professional sporting coaches to create a winning performance culture within the University.
Commenting on the appointment, Director of Sport and Exercise at the University of Edinburgh, Jim Aitken MBE, said “We are delighted that we have been able to attract such a high calibre international candidate to the role of Head of Performance Rowing.
“Sean impressed the recruitment team with his passion, ambition and vision for rowing at Edinburgh. We are confident that he has all of the necessary attributes to lead Edinburgh University Boat Club to the next level.”
Complementing his role within the University, Sean will also be responsible for nurturing the best up-and-coming young talent across Scotland, in the post of Performance Development Coach for Scottish Rowing.
Sean arrives in Scotland with the sport in a healthy state. Performances from Scotland’s top rowers in recent times have been unprecedented, with medals won in 3 consecutive years (2008 – 2010) at the World Junior Championships. In 2010, 2 bronze medals were also won at the World Under 23 Championships by Scottish athletes. Ex-Edinburgh student and 3-time Olympic silver medallist, Katherine Grainger, will be hoping to complete the clean sweep of age group medals when the World Senior Championships gets underway in Lake Karapiro, New Zealand, later this week.
Lee Boucher, Scottish Rowing’s High Performance Co-Ordinator, added “I am delighted to welcome Sean to the Scottish Rowing community. His experience and enthusiasm will prove crucial in continuing to develop the next wave of talented young rowers in Scotland.
“The development of our University programmes has been central to the work of the Scottish Rowing High Performance Group over the past 2 years and we are delighted that this initiative has the support of our key partners including the sportscotland institute of sport and the GB Rowing Team.”
Sean, who will be based at the University’s Centre for Sport and Exercise, and starts work on the 15thNovember, said: “I look forward to taking up this new role in Scotland, working with both the University of Edinburgh and Scottish Rowing to build a sustainable infrastructure for performance rowing.”