Hood takes on swimming leadership role in Canada

James Hood will lead the national para-swimming team towards Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. 08 Oct 2014
A picure of a man in the pool holding starting block with his hands

Canada's Benoit Huot gets set to race the men's 100m backstroke S10 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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By Swimming Canada

James Hood, a senior member of Swimming Canada’s management team, will be taking on a new role focused on support and leadership of the country’s national para-swimming program.

Hood has accepted the position of Senior Manager, High Performance Para-Swimming, effective immediately.

Hood, who has served as Senior Manager, Events, since 2012, brings a tremendous amount of experience to the position, including world-leading expertise in para-swimming.

“The para-swimming program is fortunate to have appointed James Hood into this role,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson. “He brings a wealth of experience into the role and specific para-swimming experience that will continue to move our para-swimming program forward.”

Hood rejoined Swimming Canada after 15 years at the helm of Swim Alberta. His experience as a coach and administrator includes roles as Integration Officer for the Canadian Paralympic Committee and as Swimming Canada’s Technical Coordinator for swimmers with a disability from 1994 to 1997.

“I’m excited to be going back to my roots and being able to have an impact on the direction high performance is going,” Hood said. “I’m looking forward to linking with our domestic programs in the country as we strive towards podium performances at the 2016 and 2020 Paralympics.”

The Edmonton resident will report to Atkinson and support para-swimming National Coach Craig McCord.

“The addition of James Hood to the para-swimming high performance unit brings the program to another level,” McCord said. “His vast experience in coaching, para-swimming development and classification, sport administration and as an Olympic manager will make our already solid technical staff even stronger. The rest of the para-swimming team is very excited and we are looking forward to working with James in the preparations for the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games, Rio 2016 Paralympics and beyond.”

Hood was recently inducted into the Alberta Swimming Hall of Fame as a builder. Hood left a strong mark on Swim Alberta in his 15 years as general manager. He played an instrumental role in bringing World Cup events to the Kinsmen Centre and served on many provincial and national committees. Hood’s decades of experience with para-swimming at the national and international levels helped him lay a strong foundation for para-swimming in Alberta. The province was successful in identifying future swimmers with disabilities and integrating para-swimming into the provincial program.

His national team experience includes serving as team manager at the London 2012 Olympics and head coach of the 1992 Paralympic team in Barcelona. He has been involved as a technical delegate or classifier for every Paralympics since 1996.

Hood is also an honoured member of the Ontario Aquatic Hall of Fame, which recognised his coaching, administrative and officiating achievements in support of athletes with disabilities. He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Hood will also lead the Canadian team to the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, from 13-19 July.