Duncan Holland is BACK – blog updates from Switzerland


It is five in the morning and I am sitting at the computer in a borrowed apartment in Zuerich, Switzerland. Shortly I will be heading off on the tram to help coach the team from Belvoir Ruderclub in the Basel Head. This is the start of my part of a three month contract that Raf Wyatt and I have taken on to coach Belvoir, while their coach, Camille Codoni, takes a well earned sabbatical. A week ago I was in the middle of a weekend coaching at Wakatipu, Invercargill and Waihopai clubs in Southland, New Zealand.

Otago Driving
Otago Driving

How this all came about is a long story as I am now mostly retired from active coaching and am enjoying a very different life in Lauder in the centre of New Zealand’s South Island. On the way to a favourite fishingspot

Anyway, here I am back in the country where I first worked fulltime as a professional coach all those years ago.

Somebody wise once said ‘You can’t go home again’ and for me Switzerland was home for six years and it will be interesting to say the least to see how this short stint of coaching works. I am not the same person I was 22 years ago and I suspect Switzerland has changed as well. Certainly the world has changed in the interim: ubiquitous connectivity, widespread terrorism and even more widespread fear of terrorism, wars and financial meltdowns have all arrived and either passed on or stayed.

Changes for me include much more experience, some good wins and some painful losses, all of which have had an impact. Sheer age also changes things – in ’92 I could run with my athletes, and beat most of them to the top of the Uetliberg, now I am reduced to a walk. My leadership is perforce based more on words than physical example.

Zuerich and lake
Zuerich and lake

The next 8 weeks will be interesting for me, and I hope my musings on them may interest you. Feedback and comments are always welcome ö even if you disagree!

Duncan Holland


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