Olympic Gold Medal Winning Coaches Share Top Swim Coaches and Teachers Australia Awards…..And The McKeon Family’s Special Honour
Australia’s Olympic gold medal winning swim coaches have shared the spoils at the annual SWIM Coaches and Teachers Australia Awards on the Gold Coast.
Michael Bohl, Vince Raleigh, Dean Boxall and Chris Mooney have between them created their own slice of coaching history with their golden results achieved in both 2021 and 2022.
And at the annual SWIMCON22 attended by over 350 of Australia’s leading coaches and teachers at Sea World, the coaches who are guiding the stars of the pool in the sport’s latest golden era were honoured in their own night of nights.
The judges could not split the top four coaches from the Tokyo Olympics with:
Boxall for Ariarne Titmus (Gold in the 200 and 400 freestyle and silver in the 800 freestyle);
Bohl for Emma McKeon (Gold in the 50 and 100 freestyle and bronze in the 100 butterfly);
Mooney for Kaylee McKeown (Gold 100 and 200m backstroke) and;
Raleigh for Zac Stubblety–Cook (Gold 200 breaststroke) sharing the top gong.
And with similar successes at this year’s World Championships in Budapest the awards went to:
Boxall for Mollie O’Callaghan (1st 100m freestyle; 2nd 200m freestyle and Elijah Winnington 1st 400 freestyle at the World Championships).
Bohl for Kaylee McKeown 1st 200 back and 2nd 200 IM and at the World Championships and;
Raleigh for Zac Stubblety–Cook (1st in the 200m breaststroke at the World Championships and a World Record at the Australian Trials), all three awarded the joint Coach of the Year Award between them for 2022.
And while the major attention featured around the leading coaches, Australia’s first family of the pool the McKeon’s were also front and centre for a special award taking out the 2021 Outstanding Contribution to Swimming in Australia awarded to Dual Olympian and Olympic coach Ron McKeon, wife and McKeon Swim School operator Suzie McKeon and their Olympian children Emma and David McKeon).
The recipient of this prestigious award is determined by the Swim Coaches & Teachers Australia Board and typically recognises an outstanding contribution by an individual.
But this year, the Board departed from tradition and “are absolutely delighted” to bestow this award to the McKeon Family.
All four members of this highly overachieving family have represented Australia in the pool:
Dual Olympian Ron (Moscow and Los Angeles) holds Swimmer Pin 272, Commonwealth Games representative Susie (Brisbane 1982) Pin number 311), dual Olympians David (London and Rio) Pin 721 and Emma (Rio and Tokyo) Pin 702.
Ron has been an Australian Team Coach on multiple teams with coach Ring number 98 and has placed many swimmers on Australian Teams while Susie is owner and manager of the biggest Swim School in Wollongong and a long serving contributor to the learn to swim industry including headlining SwimInfo’s and conference presentations.
David is now embarking on his own coaching career, and Emma is now Australia’s most successful Olympian and Commonwealth Games swimmer of all time.
Meanwhile the Meritorious Service to Teaching of Swimming in Australia has gone Sue Pryor from Sue Pryor Swimming (South Australia) who has been a long serving ASCTA South Australia board member.
Sue has been a Swim Australia course presenter, celebrating 30 years of Sue’s Swim School in South Australia.
She is also a technical official and referee, a bronze swim coach since 2007; a loyal supporter of Swim Coaches & Teachers Australia and Swim Australia and has been an immense influence on swimming in South Australia.
Sue has also facilitated families at her swim school receiving Swim It Forward funding
Other major winners were David Proud who took out the Multi Class Coach Of The Year for 2021 for Will Martin’s performance at the Tokyo Paralympics in winning gold in the 400 freestyle S9 and gold in the 100m butterfly in world record time.
And Yeronga Park’s Robert van der Zant and Kate Sparkes the joint Multi Class Coaches Of The Year for 2022 for the achievements of Rowan Crothers (1st in the Men’s 50m Freestyle S10 and 1st 100 Freestyle S10) and Katja Dedekind (1st in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S13 in world record time; 2nd in the 400m freestyle and 2nd in the 100 backstroke S13) at this year’s World Championships in Madeira, Portugal.
The Open Water Coaches Of The Year for 2021 went to Noosa’s Master Coach John Rodgers for Kareena Lee’s history-making bronze medal in the 10km marathon at the Tokyo Olympics.
And for 2022 to WA’s Ian Mills for emerging star Kyle Lee, who finished fifth in the 25km and eighth in the 5km at the 2022 World Championships.
The winner of the Age Group Coach of the Year went to Richard Sleight (St Peters Western Qld) with 2022 Youth Coach of the Year awarded to the St Peters Western Head Coach, Dean Boxall with Australia’s Brisbane-based premier club again dominating the National Age Pointscores.
2021 Teacher of the Year for Learners With Disability: Leanne Welch (Kirby Swim Mandurah WA)
2021 Teacher of the Year for Babies & Toddlers award: Leanne Oakley Southern Swim School (NSW)
2021 Teacher of the Year for all other categories: Carly Bartlett Little Stars Swim School (NSW)
Swim Australia Swim School awards of Excellence Awards for Outstanding Community Service: Fairholme Aquatics Swim Centre (Qld) represented by Judy Dickinson, and the Aqua Learn to Swim (NSW).
Best Swim School for Marketing, Promotion and Customer Service Awards:
Small Swim School category: All Coast Swim Stars (NSW)
The Medium Swim School category: Grace Swimming (Qld)
The Large Swim School category: Active Armadale Swim School (WA).
Best Swim School for Innovation and Team Development
Highly commended: The South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre (SA) and the Ferny Hills Aquatic Centre (Qld).
Best Swim School for Innovation & Team Development Award Winners: Fit 2 Swim (NSW) and 5 Star Swim Schools (NSW).
SwimSAFER awards of Excellence for 2021: Sunny Skyes Aquatics and Wellness Hub (Qld) and Waneneroo Aquamotion.
Meritorious Service to Teaching of Swimming in Australia.
Sue Pryor from Sue Pryor Swimming (South Australia).
The 2021 Outstanding Contribution to Swimming in Australia: The McKeon Family (Ron, Suzie, Emma and David).