Friday, December 3, 2010

Eventing: Australian Eventing Coach Wayne Roycroft Resigns

Press Release
3 December 2010

Australian eventing coach Wayne Roycroft announced today that he has stepped down from his position as Head Coach of the Australian Team.

“Now is the time for change and I am looking forward to new challenges and pursuing other interests,” commented Mr. Roycroft.

Paul Cargill, President of Equestrian Australia acknowledges Roycroft’s enormous contribution to Equestrian Sport “Wayne is the single greatest contributor to Australia’s extraordinary Eventing success over the past twenty years that he has been coach,” he said.

“It is with great regret that we accepted Wayne’s resignation today.  He is a legend of the sport with a wealth of experience and it will be difficult to fill his shoes. The international Equestrian Community, as well as our own members, will be saddened by this news. We will remember Wayne for his great achievement at Sydney 2000 and at Atlanta and Barcelona.  He has been an inspiration for young Eventing riders at home and abroad.”

Whilst there is not an immediate replacement for Roycroft, Cargill explains that the team will continue to look forward.

“We will now go through a process of assessing our options and our coaching structure leading into London 2012.  Our London campaign is on track,” he said.

Equestrian Australia thanks Mr. Roycroft for his unwavering dedication and exceptional accomplishments.

BACKGROUND: Since his appointment in 1988, Roycroft has proved to be one of Australia’s most successful Olympic coaches. He is widely credited as the architect of Australia's three successive Olympic team gold medals; Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.  Two individual medals were also achieved in that time (Gold by Matt Ryan in 1992 and Silver by Andrew Hoy in Sydney).

Roycroft also led Australia to a team Silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The Australian Eventing Team has achieved 11 Olympic medals in total. Roycroft has been directly involved with 8 of them.

Under his leadership the Australian Eventing Team finally broke the World Equestrian Games ‘drought’ winning the team bronze and individual silver medals in Aachen in 2006.

In addition to his coaching commitments, Roycroft has been a visionary for the sport of Eventing. In 2000 he was elected as Chairman of the FEI Eventing Committee, a position he was to hold for nine years.

In 2002 the future of Eventing at the Olympic Games was under threat. Roycroft, supported by an FEI delegation, was instrumental in revising the format to the satisfaction of the International Olympic Committee.

The future of Eventing in Australia has been a priority for Roycroft. Since 2005 he has been the driving force behind the Australian Talent Search program.  Each year he assesses hundreds of horses and riders to select those he sees as talent for the future.

Roycroft has also been a mentor to Australian Sports Commission scholarship coaches to help develop emerging coaches for the future.

Before his coaching days Roycroft was a three-time Olympian; 1968, 1976 and 1984 (he was also selected for Moscow in 1980, which was boycotted).  Roycroft won two bronze medals (Mexico and Montreal).

A tireless contributor Roycroft also served many years as the Chair of Equestrian NSW and Equestrian Australia.

With over 40 years contributing to Australian Eventing at an elite level he is well deserving of his Associate Membership of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

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