With the resignation of Libby Burrell in December, who left the position after just over 3 years on the job to take on the role of High Performance Advisor with Own The Podium, Triathlon Canada turned its sights on Dr. Peter Davis hired him for the position of High Performance Director.
TMC: How did Triathlon Canada find and assign the position to you?
Peter Davis: I am well known in Canada as a performance consultant. Over the last six years I have worked with over sixteen National Sport Organizations and over 100 Provincial Sport Organizations in Canada, as well as other sport organizations around the world. After Libby Burrell resigned Triathlon Canada sourced a number of individuals and conducted interviews for the position. Their decision was to go with me.
TMC: What will you bring to the position and no one else can? Is this a case of bringing in someone with huge experience to help out heading into an all important Olympic year.
PD: I don’t think I would like to say I can bring anything that no-one else can, but I have over 30 years of experience worldwide in high performance program. I understand international high performance programs, the needs of Triathlon Canada and the Canadian Sport System.
TMC: What will your major tasks/objectives be for 2016?
PD: My major tasks/objectives for 2016 will be to make sure that we continue to provide the best possible performance environment for our national team athletes and developing athletes, to make sure we get our best athletes to Rio 2016 and be mentally and physically ready to perform to their best, and to continue to build systems and programs so that Triathlon Canada can continue to get better every year.
TMC: Are you primarily here to set the plan in place for Rio? Or will be here to direct the high performance plan beyond Rio as well?
PD: I will not be involved after Rio. The plan is to engage a permanent High Performance Director for the Rio to Tokyo Quad.
TMC: What are Triathlon Canada’s expectations for our athletes in Rio? What does Canada have to do the medal in Rio, and then continue to feed the Olympic program with talented athletes in the future?
PD: Too early for me to answer that one with any credibility. I am still meeting coaches and athletes and getting a handle on their 2016 Individual Performance Plans. I will be better able to answer that one after the first or second ITU World Triathlon Series events.
TMC: With the recent resignation of the Triathlon Canada’s President, and High Performance Director, it’s obviously not a great time for those changes in leadership, do Canadian triathlon fans have anything to be concerned about heading into Rio?
PD: I believe things at Triathlon Canada are very good. My first task in the role (in December) was to chair a 2015 Review and forward planning. I was impressed with the level of knowledge and forward planning of the staff, and the positive interaction between coaches and support staff. I have also met with several athletes on the National team (some of them are currently training outside of North America, so I haven’t been able to meet everyone face to face yet, but I will soon), and again I am impressed with their work ethic and positive attitude towards the season and the upcoming Games in Rio.