June 28, 2018 / 9:03 PM / 2 months ago

USA Gymnastics names Forster high-performance team coordinator

(Reuters) - USA Gymnastics on Thursday named longtime coach Tom Forster as its high-performance team coordinator, where he will develop the strategic plan and training program for all women’s national team members.

Forster has coached athletes who were members of the national team and served as a coach at numerous international competitions including two Pan American Games and three World Championships.

“I believe in coaching through inspiration not intimidation,” Forster said in a statement.

“As the coordinator, my vision is to create an inclusive and collaborative environment for the athletes, coaches, judges and administration to grow, succeed and move forward in a positive direction.

“I am committed to making every athlete and coach feel valued, heard and supported.”

Forster is the latest hire for the organization, which was rocked last year by a sex abuse scandal involving former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Nassar was convicted of molesting gymnasts in incidents dating as far back as the 1990s and was sentenced to an effective life term in prison.

The entire USA Gymnastics board resigned in January in the wake of the scandal.

USA Gymnastics President Kerry Perry, who assumed her position in December 2017, said Forster fielded questions collected from national team athletes and coaches during his interview process and was the obvious choice for the role.

“Tom’s coaching philosophy mirrors our priorities of athlete safety and well-being and promoting a positive, safe and empowering environment for our athletes to train and thrive in pursuit of their gymnastics dreams,” she said.

Reporting by Rory Carroll, Editing by William Maclean

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