Leading Canadian coach Ken Cools will guide the fortunes of New Zealand BMX riders Sarah Walker and Marc Willers through to the Beijing Olympics in August. BikeNZ announced that it has secured the services of the top rating international coach to head the team and support the two Kiwi riders, both currently ranked No 1 in the world, as their sport eyes its Olympic debut in Beijing.
"Sarah and Marc really wanted me in their corner to help add what I bring to an already winning programme," Cools said. "I am positive with the level of these two athletes and the control they are giving me to mould the programme that Beijing is going to be a great race."
Cools, a former Canadian national BMX champion and top ranked professional for several years, has developed into one of the sport's most sought-after coaches. He has been the coach of two BMX world champions - Bubba Harris and his sister Samantha Cools.
The Austrian-born Canadian has provided coaching tuition for more than 75,000 BMX athletes in Canada, USA and worldwide over the last 12 years through his Camp Cools coaching programme. "I am so pumped on heading up one of the best countries in the world to some potential medals," he said.
BikeNZ High Performance Director Mark Elliott said that the involvement of Cools is a key appointment. "We have put together a good team around both Sarah and Marc in terms of support, training and sports science through the Academy of Sport and the North Harbour BMX Club," Elliott said. "Ken Cools gives us the BMX expertise at the highest level. Both Sarah and Marc know him well and were very keen for us to attract him to the BikeNZ team. That process has taken us some time but it was more important to get the coach that the riders wanted and respected."
Cools, who is already working with the riders, arrives in New Zealand in two weeks.