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Bill Sweetenham is a competitive swimming coach. He was the National Performance Director for British Swimming until 2007, having previously been the National Youth Coach for Swimming Australia. Sweetenham has worked directly with more than 40 Olympians.
Australian swim coach
Sweetenham was a swimming coach at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) from the late 1980s till 1994. From 1995 to 2001 he was the National Youth Coach for Swimming Australia during which time the programme produced a number of future Australian national team members including Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett. He managed the Australian swim team for 4 Olympic Games and 5 Commonwealth Games. He was voted Australian Coach of the Year three times and worked with more than 12 world record holders, including Tracey Wickham.
Great Britain National Performance Director
Sweetenham's tenure with Great Britain was marked by medal success at World Championship level, Olympic disappointment, and recurring controversy on his man-management methods. He was the National Performance Director for British Swimming from November 2000 to September 2007. Prior to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Sweetenham's tenure as Director marked considerable progress in British swimming. Britain won as many medals at the 2001, 2003 and 2005 Swimming World Championships as it had at all previous World Championships back to 1973.
End of tenure as GB National Performance Director
On 3 September 2007, British Swimming announced that Bill Sweetenham had stood down as NPD citing personal reasons. Sweetenham had previously indicated that he would not renew his contract, which was due for renewal following the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In December 2006, Sweetenham wrote to David Sparkes (Chief Executive of British Swimming) asking to be released from his contract either after the World Championships in March 2007 or at the conclusion of the summer meets in August 2007. Michael Scott was appointed as "High Performance Consultant" to lead British Swimming through to the Beijing Olympics; however, a permanent replacement as National Performance Director is yet to be found.
- "Sweetenham Stands Down as Swimming NPD" (Press release). British Swimming. 2007-09-03. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
- "British Swimming Appoints High Performance Consultant" (Press release). British Swimming. 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2007-09-16.