Kate Sparkes and Harley Connolly will coach the men's and women's Paralympic swimming team respectively ©Swimming Australia

Swimming Australia have announced Kate Sparkes and Harley Connolly as the new head coaches of the Australian Paralympic team.

Sparkes will coach the men's side, while Connolly will lead the women's team.

The hiring comes right after the the new strategy for Australian Paralympic Sport to Brisbane and Beyond launching, aiming to improve sustainability for the 4.3 million citizens who are disabled.

Sparkes coached the men's swimming team during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and is the current head coach of premier male and female sprinters in world Para swimming Rowan Crothers and Katja Dedekind, members of her Yeronga Park squad.

"I am excited for this opportunity to help lead the Para team alongside Harley at this year’s World Championships in Manchester," said Sparkes.

"The Staff and athletes are wonderful to work with and I look forward to building on the tremendous success of our team from the Tokyo Paralympics, and last year’s World Championships and Commonwealth Games."

Connolly recently became the head coach of the Paralympic Hub programme at the University of the Sunshine Coast, while also taking part in two Paralympic events, two Commonwealth Games and several World Championships.

The Australia Paralympic swim team have 136 golds throughout their history ©Getty Images
The Australia Paralympic swim team have 136 golds throughout their history ©Getty Images

"With over a decade coaching on the Paralympic team I’m excited to lead the team through our next chapter on the path to Paris," Connolly said,

"I’m humbled for the opportunity to help make dreams come true. 

"To enable athletes, coaches and individuals to perform when it matters the most for themselves and their country."

Tamara Sheppard, Swimming Australia high performance director, expressed her excitement on the hiring of the new head coaches.

"Kate and Harley have both demonstrated their ability as leaders within our national team environment, not only through their coaching but more importantly the behaviours, values and standards they expect of themselves and their athletes," said Shepperd.

"This is a new model for us, but one aimed at further strengthening the important link between our daily performance environments and our Dolphins campaigns to ensure our athletes are as prepared as possible to execute when it matters most."

"We look forward to seeing this model evolve as Kate and Harley take ownership of the direction of the team across this next critical phase of competition."

Australia look to add to their success in Paris 2024, with the Paralympic swimming team securing 136 golds throughout their history.