British Swimming has tasked Bernie Dietzig with implementing a strategy for the Olympic sport of open water swimming in conjunction with British Swimming Head Coach Bill Furniss.
Dietzig has worked as a Performance Scientist with British Swimming since 2008 and has been heavily involved in Open Water Swimming within that time. He has been an integral part of the team at many international events including the 2012 Olympics and three World Championships.
The role will entail producing a World Class programme for Open Water Swimming at podium, podium potential and talent levels while using innovation to drive forward the strategy to win medals at the major events.
Commenting on the appointment Furniss said: “Bernie has worked with the Open Water Swimming team for several years and therefore understands the people involved, the challenging competition environment and the task that is required.
“He brings a high level of innovation to the position which will benefit the entire programme and he will work closely with myself on developing and implementing the strategy going forward. Britain has a strong tradition with Open Water Swimming and with this appointment we aim to continue that in the future.”
Originally trained as a sports physiologist, Dietzig spent several years working in an elite sports institute setting where he had strong involvement with other sports science related disciplines such as performance analysis, psychology, nutrition and biomechanics.
He also has a background in other open water sports over the past 20 years which contribute to Dietzig’s experience and understanding of environmental conditions and how they can affect race tactics within Open Water Swimming.
On the role Dietzig said: “Having been involved with Open Water Swimming as a member of support staff for nearly five years, I have good knowledge of the existing structure, associated swimmers and coaches. I am confident I can implement changes necessary for British Swimming to become a world leading Open Water Swimming nation once again and on a personal level feel more motivated and passionate than ever to fulfil our medal target for Rio 2016.”
British Swimming Board member Sam Greetham, who sat on the interview panel, is pleased with the appointment and is looking forward to the impact it will have on the sport in the future. From a professional point of view British Swimming has always managed to be ahead of the rest of the world in terms of preparation within Open Water Swimming and Berni has been instrumental in much of the work that has gone into this from a science and innovation perspective.
“We’re now trying to move the sport forward to a completely new level and I believe Bernie’s knowledge and experience combined with the direction of Head Coach Bill Furniss will see us achieve this.”