National Coach of Women’s Artistic Gymnastics to change course
After 20 years as Australia’s National Coach of Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, Peggy Liddick will change course and has decided not seek to renew her current contract with Gymnastics Australia, which finished at the end of 2016.
Ms Liddick, a Gymnastics Australia Hall of Fame member, FIG Brevet Coach and FIG Brevet Judge is the most successful Women’s Gymnastics Coach Australia has had to date. Liddick came to Australia from the USA in 1996, bringing with her a wealth of experience, knowledge and success. Having served on the USA Gymnastics National Coaching staff and as Personal Coach to 2-time All Around World Champion Shannon Miller; where she assisted Shannon in winning 7 Olympic and 14 World Championships medals.
Leading the Australian women to its first team medal at the 2003 World Championships, Liddick was also in the role when Monette Russo became the first Australian to win an individual World Championship medal (All-Around bronze in Melbourne in 2005), and when Lauren Mitchell became the first Australian woman to win a Gymnastics World Title (Gold on Floor in Rotterdam in 2010).
“Now is the right time for me to step aside, both personally and professionally. It’s the start of the new Olympic cycle, my successor will have almost four years to prepare the Women’s Team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and I will do my utmost to assist in a smooth transition,” Ms Liddick said.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to have served as National Coach and to have worked with so many talented and committed Australian gymnasts, coaches and judges. I will always cherish the fond memories and close friendships I have formed with the gymnastics community here in Australia and wish them continued success in the future. I have also been delighted by the extraordinary growth in participant numbers for gymnastics across Australia over the last 20 years. That growth will provide a great foundation for success at the elite level.”
The chief executive officer of Gymnastics Australia, Mark Rendell said that GA had entered into discussions with Liddick about using her knowledge and expertise in an advisory and mentorship role to advantage the sport, having coached teams at 7 Olympic Games, 24 World Championships and 5 Commonwealth Games.
“Peggy has made an outstanding contribution to Women’s Artistic Gymnastics in this country. The sport is indebted to Peggy for her achievements, her professionalism and her commitment as National Coach,” Mr Rendell said.
Ms Liddick’s record during her time as Australia’s National Women’s Coach includes:
- 3rd place for Australia in the team event at the 2003 World Championships- the first country ever outside Romania, Russia, China or the USA to win a team medal in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics at a World Championship
- 1st medal for an Australian artistic gymnast at a World Championship with Monette Russo winning All Around Bronze at the 2005 World Championships
- 1st gold medal for an Australian Artistic Gymnast at a World Championship with Lauren Mitchell winning the floor event at the 2010 World Championships
- Highest ever finish by an Australian artistic gymnast in an Olympic final with Lauren Mitchell finishing 5th on the floor at the 2012 London Olympic Games
- Highest ever team finish by an Australian gymnastics team at an Olympic Games with a 6th placing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
- 4 consecutive Team Golds and 40 medals total being won in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics at the Commonwealth Games during Ms Liddick’s tenure, including 14 Gold medals for Australian athletes.
Mr Rendell said the process to recruit a new national coach for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics was underway, and was scheduled to be concluded by the end of March next year.
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