FORMER Horsham cyclist turned coach Jason Niblett has accepted a role as an assistant coach with the Japanese sprint cycling team as it moves towards a home Olympics in 2020.
Niblett said he was extremely excited for the opportunity.
“I wouldn’t say it’s been in the line for a long time; they made contact with me and basically all the ducks aligned,” he said.
“I’m going to use this as a chance to develop my own coaching thoughts and methods.
“It’s a chance to develop my career and take it to the next level.”
Niblett said he was enticed by how well his family would be looked after as part of his contract.
“They are going to provide for me and my family so that made the decision easier,” he said.
“As an athlete you can tend to focus on yourself but as a coach you are thinking about much more.”
Niblett previously spent long periods of time in Japan during his time as an athlete and said the change would not be too dramatic for him.
“I have two young girls and it will be a good chance for them to learn a different language,” he said.
“We all know that is something that is very useful to have in the tool box.”
A four-year contract with with a two-year review period will see Niblett help guide the team towards the Tokyo Games.
“Home Olympic Games are always big,” he said.
“It will be great to a be a part of it and see what they put together.
“Hopefully we can have a really good influence and have some good results leading in.”
The Japanese cycling team has not been a consistent force on the world stage.
Niblett said it tended to be “a smoky”.
“Every now and then they put up some really good cyclists,” he said.
“The thing is that they have a huge pool of athletes to work with.”
Niblett was most recently in Rio coaching tandem cyclists to bronze medals at the Paralympic Games.
On Monday, he finished up at the South Australian Sports Institute where he had been coaching since 2013.
“Before (fellow former Horsham cyclist) Tim Decker gave me the opportunity to get into the coaching game I hadn’t thought too much about it,” Niblett said.
“He’s been a great help and I’ll continue to stay in contact with him while in Japan.
“We’ve got a good friendship and that’s built on a great passion for cycling.
“That’s why Tim’s been so successful at the highest level and hopefully that’s why I can be successful.”
Niblett leaves on Wednesday to take up the role.