Australian Representative Coaching Rings
Australia’s great swimming history is due, in large part, to the efforts of its’ coaches. Although coaches have always worked tirelessly to help their swimmers achieve success, it has only been since WWII that Swimming Australian Ltd. (for many years known as the ‘Australian Swimming Union’) has officially appointed Team Coaches.
In 2006 ascta initiated a project to document the post-war history of Australia’s coaches who have been ‘officially’ nominated to represent their country and our sport. Four major international competitions determined the initial qualifying criteria – Team Coach appointments for Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, FINA World Championships (long-course) and the Pan Pacific Championships. The first two events are long-standing ones that go back many years; however, it was not until the 1948 London Olympic Games that Australia’s first ‘nationally recognised’ coaching appointment was made. This honour goes to coach Forbes Carlile for leading our Team in London.
In subsequent years other coaches were appointed onto Olympic and Commonwealth Games Teams. The FINA World Championships were added to the international calendar in 1973 and the Pan Pacs in the 1985. From very humble beginnings the list of coaches who have represented Australia has grown.
In 2009 the Board of ascta added Paralympic Coaches to the List. The 2004 Paralympic Games were the first such event where coaches were selected by ascta and appointed by Swimming Australia (note: prior to 2004 all coaching appoints were made by the Australian Paralympic Committee). Coaches from the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games Teams have now been added to the Honour List to complete the ‘Big-5 Competitions’.
ASCTA has acknowledge every coach on our ‘Honour List’ with a commemorative ring containing a number, indicating the order of service to Australian Swimming. Every coach selected onto a ‘Big-5’ team receives such a ring and joins this fraternity of elite coaches.