Athletics: Coaching supremos Scott Goodman, Dale Stevenson step down from national roles

Dale Stevenson and Tom Walsh celebrate bronze at Tokyo Olympics
Dale Stevenson and Tom Walsh celebrate bronze at Tokyo Olympics. Photo credit: Photosport

Olympic shot put medallist Tom Walsh faces a change in coach, with the announcement that current mentor Dale Stevenson will return to Australia after the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

A former Olympian himself, Stevenson has guided the national throws programme since 2014, building a stable of up-and-coming putters, while also helping rekindle the career of two-time Olympic champion Dame Val Adams for last year's Tokyo Games.

Under his tutelage, Walsh has won three world titles and Commonwealth Games gold, establishing himself as one of the world's top exponents in his specialist event. In preparation for Stevenson's departure, he has already ramped up with current assistant coach Hayden Hall.

Stevenson's exit coincides with that of Athletics NZ high performance director Scott Goodman, who will take up a national sporting role across the Tasman in March.

Goodman began his role in 2011, making him the longest-serving high performance manager in NZ sport during a period that included successful Olympic and Commonwealth Games campaigns, and integration of the national Paralympic athletics programme.

"Both Scott and Dale have made defining and lasting contributions to our high performance culture, and can be very proud of their achievements during their time with us," says Athletics NZ chief executive Peter Pfitzinger. "They will be sorely missed.

"Scott has endured limited family time for over a decade and with COVID-19 travel implications an ongoing issue, we fully support his decision to return home. Dale is similarly putting family first around his decision."