Bill Sweetenham Awarded Life Membership

05 November 2021
Bill Sweetenham

Swimming Australia is delighted to announce that Bill Sweetenham AM has been awarded Life Membership after last week’s Annual General Meeting.

Sweetenham has had a long and storied career coaching in Australian swimming that has transcended the world swimming stage like no other.

Originally from Mount Isa, Queensland, where he was an aspiring coach, Bill was appointed as the first Queensland Director of Coaching in the 1970’s, working with the likes of Stephen Holland, Tracey Wickham and Michelle Ford.

He was appointed as the inaugural Women’s Head Coach of the AIS in the 1980’s and was made Head Coach of the AIS from 1985 to 1991.

As Head Coach for Australia at the 1980, 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, Sweetenham oversaw the emergence of the Australian swim team. He also led the 1982 and 1986 Australian team to the Commonwealth Games.

Sweetenham has also been Head Coach of the British, Hong Kong and Argentinian Swimming teams and continues to provide mentoring and inspiration to coaches both in Australia and Internationally with his innovative thinking around the science of coaching swimming.

In 1989 Sweetenham was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and in 2018 was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Swimming Australia President, Kieren Perkins, said Sweetenham’s Life Membership is a just reward for his contribution.

“Bill’s success in the pool and influence in the coaching ranks of international swimming is undeniable and he is a deserving recipient of Life Membership.

“His desire to improve the way we coach our swimmers has been critical to our sports long term success, as has his coaching performance at the highest level of our sport.”

Swimming Australia Dolphins Head Coach, Rohan Taylor, credits Sweetenham with building his career.

“Bill has had an immense influence on my career.

“I first met Bill when I was a swimmer in 1985 and we have built a relationship from there. He has seen my transition from athlete to coach and I have learned so much from him over the years.

“He has shaped my philosophy and leadership style and continues to mentor me in my role now. I value his feedback and all he has to offer. He has done so much for me and I can’t thank him enough.”

Sweetenham is a 5 time Olympic Head Coach, 8 time Commonwealth Games Coach, 9 time World Championship Coach and has coached 27 long course medallists at major international meets.

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