Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Peter Eriksson Fired as Head Coach of Athletics Canada after Internal Review

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Peter Eriksson Fired as Head Coach of Athletics Canada after Internal Review

Article excerpt

Eriksson out as coach of Athletics Canada


Peter Eriksson has been fired as head coach and chief technical officer at Athletics Canada just months after the track and field team had one of its most successful Olympics in decades.

Canada captured six medals at the Rio Summer Games, its best performance in a non-boycotted Games since 1932, and has seen the rise of young stars such as sprinter Andre De Grasse and high jumper Derek Drouin.

But there has been growing discontentment with the team's leadership for months. The move comes after an extensive internal review.

"We talked to a lot of athletes and coaches out there," Athletics Canada chief executive office Rob Guy said on a conference call Friday. "Athletes and coaches are the key to everything. In a very decentralized sport like track and field where a lot our athletes are working on their own, they just need to feel good about themselves and feel really supported.

"Everybody has their style. Overall there was just a general feeling that a different style might be a little bit more appropriate."

When asked what style Guy would look for in a successor, he suggested that person will need to be more inclusive.

"The results of the review confirm that people want to feel supported, they want to work with the federation in driving performance," said Guy. "I suppose a style that's perhaps a little more supportive and engaging with these athletes and coaches."

The organizational review included both an anonymous online survey and more than 120 in-person or phone interviews with staff, provincial branch members, athletes, coaches, sponsors, media and other stakeholders.

"Going to miss you," Olympic racewalker Evan Dunfee said via Twitter. "U believed in our little race walk group from the beginning & we wouldn't have had our successes without that."

Former star hurdler Perdita Felicien called it "the right move."

"I wish Peter the best," she tweeted.

Eriksson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. …

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