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Dean Boxall named Australian Age and Youth Coach of the Year at ASCTA Awards

Dean Boxall named Australian Age and Youth Coach of the Year at ASCTA Awards
May 28, 2021

Celebrated St Peters Western, Queensland Head Coach Dean Boxall will take his high-profile group of Tokyo hopefuls to next month’s Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide after ‘virtually scooping the pool’ at the 2020 Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA) Awards.

Boxall has this week continued his long list of award achievements after being named the back-to-back Age Coach of the Year and Youth Coach of the Year following the 2021 Australian Age Group Championships on the Gold Coast in April.

The Awards, presented at ASCTA’s Virtual Awards Night in its 50th Anniversary Year, saw Boxall - the 2019 Australian Coach of the Year - to recognise his coaching staff of Maxine Seear, Richard Sleight and Stuart Melton.

Welcoming receipt to the Awards, he explained “we have won the last six National Age pointscores but with that break for COVID which meant some of the guys had not had a National Championship in two years.

“And (this year on the Gold Coast) it was the biggest pointscore the club has ever had, taking the title by over 1500 points and if the next two clubs combined (their points) they would still not have beaten us; it was the best performance by our club in its history.

“And for all of the thousands of Age Group competitors the meet was only given the green light on the eve of the meet after a South East Queensland COVID lockdown.

“The day before we still were not sure whether we would race ... we had to keep them calm and cool and it wasn’t until the 11th hour that the news came through that the meet was a goer.

“At the end of the day they knew what they had to do; they were professional and they hit the ground running and they were ready to go.

“St Peters had a total of 50 odd swimmers and while we didn’t have the biggest group at the meet we do come together and join forces very well.

“We have three programs, the high-performance program with Maxine Seear and then Richard Sleight with the Age Group Program and then there is the Junior Program with Stuart Melton and every program won a gold medal at the meet and each program (qualified) a swimmer onto the National Junior Team which has never been done before.

“I’m proud of all the swimmers and our coaches and I thank ASCTA again for the award and their on-going support.”

Among a host of awards presented by ASCTA, life memberships were awarded to:

Victorian coaching pioneer Peter Ruddock who in 1967 helped establish and conduct a highly successful Education and Coaching Development Scheme and has continued to be front and centre on pool deck ever since, defying the odds despite being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease back in the 1990s.

Commenting on the award, ASCTA President, Joanne Love stated “along with Victorian coaches Jack Foster, Jim O’Doherty, John Olsen, and Harold Watson, Peter organised The Forum - a forerunner to what is now the highly successful ASCTA Convention - with 250 attendees.

“Peter also assisted with the organisation of another forum in Melbourne in 1975. At this major coaching seminar Prof. Brent Rushall, Dr. James Counsilman, Forbes Carlile and Terry Gathercole were the primary speakers. Coaches from all across Australia attended, with a total attendance of 260.”

Michael Ursu, a life long coach and former inspirational ASCTA Chief Executive from 1993 to 2005 who has been awarded Life Membership posthumously, a man who during his reign professionalised ASCTA through innovation and ideas for change; introducing a real freshness about his approach.

In paying tribute to the former Romanian water polo international, ASCTA former President, Tony Shaw advised “Michael was the real heart and soul of ASCTA.

“His vision in coach education and accreditation saw ASCTA grow from an organisation making ends meet into a viable and sustainable organisation.”

In a special night after a disruptive COVID-19 year like no other, and with no benchmark events to determine the Coach of the Year Awards, ASCTA also awarded Outstanding Coaching Achievements to Olympic program coach Chris Mooney (USC Spartans, Queensland) and Open Water coach John Rodgers (Noosa, Queensland) and a host of Multi Class Program coaches.

The recognition was based on performances throughout 2020 - for Mooney’s efforts with Tokyo Olympic hopeful Kaylee McKeown and her world short course record in the 200m backstroke; for Rodgers coaching Kareena Lee onto the Tokyo Olympic Team for the 10km Marathon and for coaching Lee and Nick Sloman to victories in the Australian 10km Championships.

The following coaches were all recognised for outstanding achievement for world records in Multi Class:

  • Nathan Doyle (USC Spartans, Queensland): Katja Dedekind (4 world records), Jacob Templeton (3 world records) and Braedan Jason and Blake Cochrane (1 world record each);
  • Harley Connolly (Belgravia Swim Team, Queensland): Brenden Hall (1 world record);
  • Andrew Howard (Central Cairns Swimming, Queensland): Grant Patterson (2 world records);
  • Clinton Camilleri (Auburn, NSW): Ricky Betar (2 world records).
  • Stephen Badger (North Sydney, NSW) Matthew Levy (2 world records);
  • Ken Malcolm (St Hildas Gold Coast, Queensland): Madeleine McTernan (1 world record) and;
  • Gavin Stewart (SLC Aquadot, NSW): Alexander Tuckfield (1 world record).

The 2020 Swim Australia Teacher of the Year was awarded to Danielle Shea of Airlie Beach Swim School.

Swim Australia Chief Executive, Gary Toner Shea explained that Shea, who lives by the adage ‘that swimming is the number one skill every child or adult should learn’, ”was a competitive swimmer all through her school life, representing at both State, Country, and National Championship levels.

“Since moving to Airlie Beach 10 years ago Danielle established her first business, Airlie Beach Babysitting by Danielle before starting her swim school in 2012.

“She is deeply passionate, kind and caring towards her swimmers and swim families, all children - as well as their parents - look forward to their swimming lessons with Danielle.”

There were also two Meritorious Service to Teaching of Swimming in Australia awards to Karen Baildon (Superfish, Queensland) and Liz Corr (Swimtikes Burpenagary).

Image: Dean Boxall. Credit: Delly Carr

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