It should cost you to quit, says Team Danmark


It has to have consequences if Danish national team swim coaches in the future quit prematurely, says Team Danmark.

Team Danmark will not accept any more premature resignations from coaches of the Danish swimmers, says CEO Michael Andersen after Shannon Rollason quit his job at the Danish Swimming Federation a year and a half before time.

“Team Danmark can not live with the fact that we can get burned off like this. We support Danish swimming with more than 8 million Danish kroner (USD 1.35 million) each year”, says Michael Andersen.

Shannon Rollason is head coach of the Danish national training center, in charge of swim stars like Jeanette Ottesen, Rikke Møller Pedersen and Pernille Blume. His contract was until the summer of 2016, when he was thought of as a key role at the Olympics in Rio. Rollason, however, has terminated his contract, and will go back to Australia after the World Short Course Championships in December. The reason is that his family is unhappy in Denmark.

“It has to have a price to resign. We will not stand for such a situation again. Therefore, we have to require the new coach to think twice before running off. First, we must be even better to ensure ownership of the project towards 2016, and secondly, it has to have a price if you still choose to stop. This is quite normal when you bind yourself to a contract,” says Michael Andersen.

The Sports Manager of the Danish Swimming Federation, Mikkel von Seelen, understands Michael Andersen’s frustration with the termination. He believes, however, that it is difficult to tie a future coach more that was done with Shannon Rollason.

“In swimming we don’t licenses like in football, where you can tie people to a contract.

The Danish Swimming Federation neither owns swimmers or swimmers like that, and have absolutely no intentions to do that. We hire people in normal salaried employment. We can not tie people to the job, but we can give some incentives to stay,” says Mikkel von Seelen.

One of the things that the Danish Swimming Federation can do in the future, is to adjust the conditions for terminating the contract. But Mikkel von Seelen still thinks that it would not have solved the problem of Shannon Rollason.

“When you do not thrive because of family reasons, I will not be the man to stand in the way of it. I do not think that anything good comes out of forcing people to stay. We are firstly not able to do that, and secondly I do not think that the end result would be good,” says Mikkel von Seelen.

Mikkel von Seelen doesn’t think that the problem with Shannon Rollason was lack of ownership of the project leading up til the Rio Olympics. But on the other han, he agrees with the CEO of Team Danmark, Michael Andersen, that they now have to find a coach who is guaranteed to last until 2016.

“Shannon was among the world’s best coaches, and that is what we need again. We are going to have 4-5 medal candidates at the Olympic Games in Rio, so their sparring needs to be top-notch. I am convinced that we will find the right one. Very few countries can offer swimmers at this level. We are in the top five of the women, so we have a very attractive squad,” says Michael Andersen.

Read Jyllands-posten (in Danish, here translated probably badly with the help of Google Translate)

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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