Rod Griffin joins national junior coaching ranks

Australia’s developing junior talent is set to benefit from the knowledge and experience of Rod Griffin, with the endurance specialist to become the Athletics Australia National Junior Coach – Distance.

Griffin will replace Nicky Frey, who has been elevated to the role of NASS Transition Manager within the Athletics Australia High Performance Department. He will take responsibility for supporting the development of distance athletes, and their personal coaches, who participate in Athletics Australia’s junior high performance squads or are in contention to national youth and junior teams.

A coach for more than 25 years, Griffin has guided numerous state and national champions at different stages of their career, many of whom have moved onto represent their country at events such as the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the IAAF World Championships and the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. His most noted charges include the Beijing 2015 bound Collis Birmingham (Vic) and Victoria Mitchell (Vic), as well as three junior athletes from this year’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships – Stewart McSweyn (Vic),Jack Davies (Vic) and Courtney Scott (Vic).

Frey has worked with Athletics Australia’s Junior High Performance Department since its inception in its current form ten years ago. In her new role as the NASS Transition Manager, she will provide guidance and support to both junior and new members of the National Athlete Support Structure, who are engaging with the high performance system and its processes for the first time.

“It has been a great experience for me to work as the National Junior Coach for as long as I have. The athletes and coaches that I have had the chance to work with have been amazing and I am very much enjoying seeing so many of them move through to open representation for the Australian Flame today,” Frey said.

“Rod is someone that I have had the opportunity to work with during my time as the National Junior Coach and he will more than capably fill the role. His experience is very broad and he has worked with athletes across a wide ranges of distances, which will prove invaluable.”

Athletics Australia High Performance Director, Simon Nathan, is confident in the changes and trusts that Griffin will perform well in the strong junior high performance framework already existing.

“The role that Nicky will move into is crucial to our high performance system. We are very aware of the need to soundly manage the transition of athletes into our National Athlete Support Structure and her sound relationships with so many athletes and coaches will make for a smooth transition to this position.

“Rod’s appointment to the role of National Junior Coach will strength an already great team. He has vast experience with athletes of great talent and he’ll bring a lot of knowledge to the role.”

Sara Mulkearns, the National Junior High Performance Manager, echoed Nathan’s commentary.

“Nicky has been a servant to the national junior program since it began in the form we know it today ten years ago. She has been an outstanding support to me during this time and she will prove to be a great asset in her new role,” Mulkearns said.

“The National Junior Coaches that we have provide great support to the athletes and coaches within our program and I am looking forward to having Rod involved. He’s a very talented coach and he will seamlessly move into the role with great knowledge to share with those he works alongside.”

Frey will also vacate the role of National Junior Coaching Coordinator, with this position to be filled at the conclusion of the international season late this year.

Words courtesy of Athletics Australia