The head coach of the Richmond (BC) Rapids Swim Club, was chosen from a group of candidates through a nationwide application process.
“I’m pretty excited,” said the 41-year-old Richmond native. “I’m hoping to bring lots of energy and maybe a few new ideas.
”Pettifer has coached Parapan Am Games medallist and Paralympian Jonathan Dieleman and 2016 FINA World Championships (25m) team member Nicolaas Dekker. He says he’s known for being well-prepared and detail-oriented.
“I like to take the time to think things through and do my research. That’s from relay selection, to environment, travel, to the athletes, the personal touch of who they are, where they’re going and how to get them there,” he said.
It will be the first international head coaching appointment for Pettifer, who has participated in several coach development activities with Swimming Canada.
“We’re excited to work closely with Rob in this role over the next nine months as we prepare to take the team to Lima,” said Iain McDonald, Swimming Canada’s Senior Manager, NextGen High Performance Pathway, who is Team Leader for the Games.
Pettifer has received direct mentorship from National Development Coach Ken McKinnon, and was an apprentice coach with the National Development Team on the 2015 Mare Nostrum Tour. He also served as a member of Canada’s coaching staff for the 2016 FINA World Cup tour and has been a member of the Select Coaches Group twice, taking advantage of several mentorship and workshop opportunities.
“He’s proven himself to be a thoughtful and well-prepared leader,” McDonald said. “He’s taken the initiative to get engaged in many coach development opportunities and in those opportunities he’s taken full advantage to improve himself as a high-performance coach.
”Swimming at the Games is set for Aug. 6-10 in Lima. Canada will select its team at the Canadian Swimming Trials April 3-7 in Toronto, choosing up to 20 swimmers not selected to the FINA World Championships or World Junior Championships. The team will be made up of athletes focused on achieving podium results and who will have the potential to impact the Olympic team in 2020 and 2024.
“This is a great opportunity for athletes who are maybe just off the world standard,” Pettifer said. “I want to encourage those athletes to pursue their Olympic dreams and continue to develop as members of the national team.”