Olympic representative Carrie Smith has been appointed as Head of State Coaching in Victoria, Australian Sailing Performance Director Iain Murray announced last night.
Smith, who competed in the 470 class at the Rio Games in 2016, retired from competition early this year. However, Australian Sailing was keen to ensure her expertise remained in the sport.
Smith’s responsibility will be to lead a program that provides support, encouragement and opportunities for aspirational junior and youth sailors, in line with the Australian Sailing Youth Development and High Performance Pathway.
Among her key initial tasks will be to guide twin sisters Lily and Matilda Richardson, who will represent Australia in the 420 class at the Youth Sailing World Championships in the US in July. Smith is a former 420 Youth World Champion.
“I believe Carrie will add enormous value by bringing a fresh, energetic and highly relevant approach to her coaching of the Victorian State Team and development sailors,” said Murray, who made the announcement at the VST Program Launch in Melbourne. “Importantly, it is also another step towards growing our female coaching capability and capacity, and I believe the role offers her a unique opportunity to grow her skills as a coach.”
Smith said she was excited to help develop the next generation of potential sailing World and Olympic champions.
“Representing Australia on the world stage gave me immense pride and nothing would make me happier than to help provide that opportunity to young and talented sailors,” she said. “Australian Sailing sets very high standards, so I’m keen to apply all my energy and knowledge to this important role. I thank Australian Sailing for the opportunity.”
Smith showed great courage to compete at the Rio Olympics after enduring a series of operations due to complications from stomach surgery in 2014.