Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Coach calls for elite swimmers to be given access to pools

Coach calls for elite swimmers to be given access to pools
April 24, 2020

Leading swimming coach Dean Boxall has called for Australia's elite swimmers to be allowed access to pools for training, saying they need to return to the water "very soon" to prepare for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

Training for Boxall's St Peters Western Swim Club squad - featuring world champion freestyler Ariarne Titmus - was shut down at their base at Brisbane's St Peters Lutheran College at the end of last month due to Coronavirus restrictions.

With aquatic centres across the country closed, Boxall has been reported as calling for allowances to soon be introduced to ensure elite swimming squad members returned to the pool and got back on track for Tokyo 2021.

Boxall told AAP this week "I don't want to be seen as someone who is not in touch with what is happening.

"I get it, people are dying. It is a terrible crisis. But you go to parks and you see stacks of people but we can't get elite swimmers to swim in a pool.

"We want to get back in the water but we can't, we are hamstrung. I am not talking about the whole swimming community in Australia returning to pools, just the elite guys."

Boxall said the longer Australia's elite swimmers spent out of the pool, the longer it would take for them to bounce back to their best in their Olympic preparation.

He explained "they need to be in the water very soon, like the next two weeks, just to get the body back into a rhythm.

"Usually if you have a month off, it takes you two months to get back into it - it's normally double.

"If (pool training does not restart until) September it is going to be a struggle. If you call it in July, August, it is still difficult - they need to get back in the water."

Boxall said swimmers aiming for Tokyo 2021 selection would relish the chance to get back in the training pool no matter what stringent conditions were placed on them, commenting "of course we want to be in line with government (Coronavirus) guidelines, so give us heavy, strict protocols (at pool) and I promise you that we will adhere to them.

"If they told us we can only have one person an hour, or a person in every second lane, if this was the policy put in place we would follow it."

Boxall said his squad - which also features former world champion backstroker Mitch Larkin - were doing their best to cope away from the pool.

He added "we were going 100 miles an hour (at training) and then it was just bang, stop. That was a shock to the system.

"Everyone grieved and dealt with it in a different way. But everyone has got through that stage.

"They are now going 'I see a lot of people doing exercise, maybe we can get back into the water'."

While small groups of elite swimmers could easily comply with social distancing restrictions, Boxall did not address issues relating to the cost of running facilities only used for elite competition.

With AAP.

Image courtesy of St Peters Lutheran College.

Related Articles

20th April 2020 - Swimming Australia celebrates first year of iSwim

1st April 2020 - Swimplex Aquatics highlight current shutdown period an ideal time for slide and pool maintenance

31st March 2020 - IOC confirms new dates for Tokyo Olympics

26th March 2020 - Tokyo Olympics organisers face ‘massive’ facilities costs for rescheduled Games

25th March 2020 - Aquatic sector could lose $900 million in revenue as Prime Minister Morrison advises that all commercial pools must close

20th March 2020 - Queensland Health advise public aquatic centres are ‘safe for swimming’

17th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees closure of aquatic centres despite conflicting advice

1st December 2019 - Road to Tokyo begins with Australia Swims campaign

23rd October 2019 - Swimming Australia unveils Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic campaign

7th October 2019 - Elite swimming goes ‘intergalactic’ as ISL stages first event

29th July 2019 - Swimming Australia scrutinised over handling of Shayna Jack doping result

24th July 2019 - Australia to send largest ever team to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

5th July 2019 - Jacco Verhaeren to leave Swimming Australia after Tokyo Olympics

9th February 2019 - Swimming Australia camps kick off around the country

7th April 2011 - Elite swimmers seek pay rises

30th May 2010 - News Ltd Again Blames Contracting for Elite Swimming Decline

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

TicketSearch Pty Ltd

TicketSearch is focused on providing businesses, organisations, and venues with affordable, efficient, and powerful self-managed ticketing solutions. The organisation has offices in Australia, New…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


State Wide Pool Services

Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see

read more



Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology


Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks



Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business