Darryl Fitzgerald moves on from National Team Program
It is with sadness that Bowls Canada announces the departure of Darryl Fitzgerald from the National Team Program. Fitzgerald has served as the National Development Coach for the last five years and under his leadership, the domestic program has flourished.
The position was created in 2017 as a very part-time position as part of the evolution to develop a professional coaching culture in bowls. The goal of the position was to provide support and coaching expertise to those players aspiring to the national team and the demands of international competition. Over the years, the position has grown to include travel to international events, support of the National Youth Team, Development team, program planning, athlete development and more.
“Darryl has played a significant role in the contribution he has made to our sport. His analysis of the game through video footage has become the Canadian standard and is a fundamental component of our program,” said Senior Team Coach Terry Scott.
Fitzgerald was recruited off the national squad in 2017 to assume the National Development Coach duties. Recognizing the coaching talent that Darryl had in game mechanics and tactical analysis, as well as his innate ‘coaching eye’, then High Performance Chair Don Caswell persuaded Fitzgerald to take a chance on coaching. “Best decision we ever made,” said Caswell, “Darryl is a talented coach and while we are sad to lose him from the program at this time, we know that he will be back in the future.”
“Darryl is now an instrumental part of the coaching culture for our sport across Canada. I have had the privilege to work with Darryl as both an athlete and as High Performance Chairperson. Darryl’s passion and dedication for the program are second to none,” said now High Performance Chair Ryan Stadnyk. (Stadnyk was coached by Fitzgerald at numerous events including the 2018 Commonwealth Games).
Acknowledging that the demands of high-performance travel are not conducive to raising a young family while also working full-time outside of bowls was a difficult decision for Fitzgerald. Not willing to give up his connection completely, Fitzgerald will continue to be a part of the Canadian coaching culture as he assumes the role of National Facilitator for the BCB Regional Coaching Network. This network is designed to connect regional athletes to the high-performance program while also continuing to provide development for Canadian coaches. Fitzgerald will also continue to serve as a BCB NCCP Coach Developer and also coach athletes out of his home club Heritage Greens in Kitchener Waterloo.
“It has been a fantastic 5 years as a coach in the National program,” said Fitzgerald. “Being able to interact with amazing athletes, coaches and support staff has been a highlight of my bowling career thus far. Seeing the program progress from when I was an athlete on the Senior Squad to now is incredible. While I am sad to be taking a leave from the coaching side of the high-performance program I hope to be back in the future and I am excited to see what challenges lie ahead while continuing to raise the bar for coaching across Canada.”
Fitzgerald’s last day with the national team program will be December 31, 2022.
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