Award Winning Coach Dean One Out Of The Box As ASCTA Goes Virtual To Recognise Coaches And Teachers

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PASSION AND PURPOSE: Award winning St Peters Western head coach Dean Boxall urging on his team. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Celebrated St Peters Western, QLD Head Coach Dean Boxall will take his high profile group of Tokyo hopefuls to next month’s Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide with some award winning feathers in his cap.

Boxall has been awarded back-to-back Australian Swimming Coaches And Teachers Association (ASCTA) Awards after being named the 2020 Australian Age and Youth Coach of the Year.

The Awards were presented at ASCTA’s Virtual Awards Night in its 50th Anniversary Year and Boxall – the 2019 Australian Coach Of The Year – was suitably chuffed but also equally proud and quick to recognise his coaching staff of Maxine Seear, Richard Sleight and Stuart Melton.

“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,” said Boxall.

“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.”

LISTEN TO Ian Hanson’s interview with DEAN BOXALL


ELLA-VA MEET: St Peters Western’s Ella Ramsay led a powerful SPW team to a record pointscoring victory at the National Age winning six individual gold medals and five relays. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

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 lock down.

“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,” said Boxall.

“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 were two new very fitting life memberships awarded to Peter Ruddock and the late Michael Ursu.

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OUTSTANDING ACHIEVER: Chris Mooney (USC Spartans) lets Kaylee McKeown know he’s in her corner, loud and clear. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

And 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, QLD) and Open Water coach John Rodgers (Noosa, QLD) and a host of Multi Class Program coaches.



They were for 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.


TRIPLE TREAT: Coaching legend John ‘JR’ Rodgers flanked by Kareena Lee and Nick Sloman – Photo Courtesy: Hanson Media.

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

  • Nathan Doyle (USC Spartans, QLD): 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, QLD): Brenden Hall (1 world record);
  • Andrew Howard (Central Cairns Swimming, QLD): 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, QLD): Madeleine McTernan (1 world record) and;
  • Gavin Stewart (SLC Aquadot, NSW): Alexander Tuckfield (1 world record).

While the 2020 Swim Australia Teacher of the Year was awarded to Danielle Shea of Airlie Beach Swim School by Danielle, who lives by the adage “that swimming is the number one skill every child or adult should learn.”

“Danielle was a competitive swimmer all through her school life, representing at both State, Country, and National Championship levels,” said Swim Australia CEO Gary Toner.

“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.”


LEAVING HER LEGACY: Karen Baildon providing a pathway for next generation of Superfish. Photo Courtesy: Superfish Swim Schools.

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

“Karen Baildon has been the General Manager and ‘Learn To Swim’ Drowning Prevention Expert at Superfish since 1996 and says Toner “Swimming has been a life-long passion.”


“Karen has a clear mission for drowning prevention and swimming development: To learn and work closely with industry bodies, leaders in swimming development and experts worldwide, to draw upon her own vast scope of experience, to create premium ‘Learn to Swim’ programs ‘that saves lives’ and teach children to swim the right way.

“Karen developed and opened the Andrew Baildon Aquatic Centres in 1996, co-creating all of their swim programs with husband and business partner, Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Andrew Baildon.

“She takes a very hands-on role in the business, responsible for sales and marketing, promotions, HR, team training and community support/PR – and leading and training a team of over 60 Superfish swimming instructors, who conduct swimming lessons for up to nearly 5000 children each week.

“Karen’s contribution to the industry over the past 25 years has seen her deservedly awarded Meritorious Service to Teaching of Swimming in Australia.”

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While Liz Corr started as a swim instructor at Splash Leisure Chermside in 2001 before holding management and director roles in swimming in Queensland.

“In 2014 Liz set up her own swim school called Swimtikes in Burpenagary and has been an active participant in the industry providing a networking opportunity for thousands of swim school owners, managers and aquatic staff from around the world to interact, ask questions, seek guidance, swap ideas and share successes to improve their businesses, and to discuss and put forward issues to their local swimming bodies that affect small swim schools,” said Toner.

“Liz is one of the most respected and trusted voices in the Learn to Swim industry and works with all organisations to improve the level of professionalism and education for all.”


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