Posted by Editor on 12/23/04
Interview with Yury Kashirin
Yury Kashirin has been one of the top national team coaches in Canada since 1993, when he arrived from Russia. He began as the timed event coach, but quickly became the primary national mountain bike coach. In 1996, he became the Head Coach and Director of the PacificSport National Cycling Centre. During his tenure, 5 cross country world titles were won, and 3 Team Relay titles. In Russia, Kashirin coached the national squad to an Olympic gold in the Team Time trial, and was a gold medalist himself in that discipline, as well as winning the prestigious Milk Race in the U.K. (1979).
In November it was announced that his contract with the Canadian Cycling Association would not be renewed after it ends on December 31st. I spoke with Yury from his home in Victoria yesterday to discuss his career with the Canadian national team and his future plans.
Yury Kashirin - First of all I wish to offer best wishes and Merry Christmas to everyone in the cycling community. I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to work with this organization (CCA) starting in 1993. There have been lots of accomplishments achieved since then, so I would like to give a message back to the community at the end of this Olympic year.
CC - Was it a surprise when your contract wasn't renewed?
YK - Politics is always front line at the CCA, and there was lots of turbulence in the last year. There was a vacuum, and nobody was talking or communicating. It was not communicated to me, but I had a feeling (that the contract would not be renewed).
In the summer I asked: 'Can you give me a sign? Is the organization going in a different way?' It's fine, okay (that the contract would not be renewed) but I would like to prepare myself. That didn't happen and i just got a letter (3 days after the High Performance meeting at the 'Cross Nationals).
The CCA has struggled over the year - not just with me. There are a lot of personalities there, and it is not a (very) business approach. I asked direct questions, but did not receive much information basically from April. I was supposed to be evaluated in October, but it didn't happen.
But ... done is done; that's fine with me.
CC - So what will happen for you now? Any plans made?
YK - I unfortunately missed a few opportunities. From my point of view, something else could have happened if I knew earlier (that his contract would not be renewed).
But it is okay, now I have a chance to spend time with my family (his daughter is finishing high school, and his son is also living with him). I am staying in Victoria, I have my house, and my daughter is enjoying school. I put quite a bit into it for the CCA, on the road for 6 months of the year, so that I have not had the time with them (children) before.
CC - What about private coaching, or using your engineering degree?
YK - Yes, yes, I could look at it (engineering), but which way to pursue, I don't know yet. I'll have to see, because I don't want to walk away from cycling, it is my passion. If a good healthy opportunity comes along I will take it, but for now I will take some time off.
CC - You have had a chance to look at Canadian cycling from the inside, what do you think about the prospects?
YK - There is a lot of talent here. It could be up on top in every category. I am very excited about BMX for the future. I hope the organization will do well. There are a lot of voices speaking, a lot of emotion, and we will have to see how it goes.
I think there are some areas where it (the CCA) is going down the wrong path. I don't want to comment - time will tell - but the strategic vision is very important. A wrong step now, and we will see the mistake in 4 years at the Olympics.
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