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 Australian Olympic Pole-Vaulting Coach Leads High School Camp at SRU 



 July 7, 2004

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-738-4854;


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – High school pole-vaulters are learning the up and over from a former Olympic coach from down under.

     Alan Launder, an Australian pole-vaulting instructor who coached 2000 Olympic silver medallist Tatiana Gregorieva and 1984 gold medallist Glynis Nunn, is offering tips this week at Slippery Rock University’s Pole-Vaulting Camp for high school girls.

Launder and SRU’s Mark Hannay, assistant pole-vaulting coach and camp director, organized Launder’s stay so both coaches could share techniques used with their own athletes. Launder learned of the camp through an Internet search.

“This is the best pole vaulting camp in the U.S,” said Launder, Australia’s national pole-vaulting coach. “I was at UCLA last year. This one is far better organized, far better run and far better coached.”

During the summer, SRU hosts 35 sports camps for junior and high school girls and boys, through SRU’s Office of Camps and Conferences.

 SRU will host 377 pole-vaulters from 40 states this summer, including 77 high school girls from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, Florida and Arizona, Hannay said. They use N. Kerr Thompson Stadium, set up with 10 practice “runways.”

           Launder said he came to SRU “to see the different approaches” to coaching. He uses a style emphasizing energy, motor skills, drilling and intense focus.

           “He’s a very aggressive coach, very Australian,” Hannay said.

About Launder

           Launder has been deeply involved in sports for more than 50 years as a competitor, teacher and coach.  He has worked in Great Britain, the United States and Australia. Since 1973, he has been a senior lecturer at the University of South Australia, where he helped to develop a four-year degree course in physical education.

        He holds senior coaching qualifications from England and Australia in soccer, cricket, basketball, track and field and table tennis. In 1984, he was a coach of the Australian track and field team at the Los Angeles Olympics. In 1986 and 1988, he was head coach of the Australian team at the World Junior Championships. In 1991, 1993, and 1995, he was coach of the track and field team at the World University Games.

           He lives in Adelaide, 450 miles west of Melbourne.

 #PR, PN, PgN



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