Kiwi legend, Dick Tonks joins Rowing Canada
Rowing Canada confirmed on Monday that Dick Tonks, who coached New Zealand crews to over 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, will lead their high-performance team through to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Tonks has won the Halberg Awards’ coach of the year five times, which is more than any other coach in the award’s 27-year history. The Halberg Awards honour and celebrate sporting excellence in New Zealand. Tonks, 66, has coached six New Zealand rowing boats to six Olympic gold medals and was made Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2003.
Legendary rowing coach, Dick Tonks
Tonks said in a statement issued by Rowing Canada, “I am looking forward to working with the Canadian rowers. Canada has a strong legacy in rowing and I look forward to helping them write their next chapter.”
Tonks left Rowing New Zealand in 2015 after a fall-out with the administration over work he was doing with a Chinese crew. He continued working with Mahe Drysdale and the W2x (Eve MacFarlane and Zoe Stevenson) ahead of the Rio Olympics. Drysdale won gold in Rio but 2015 world champions MacFarlane and Stevenson failed to make the A final.
Tonks, a former Olympic rower who won silver in the men’s coxless four at the 1972 Munich Olympics, has been awarded World Rowing’s coach of the year three times, in 2005, 2010 and 2012, and is the only person to have won the award more than once.