Coach Ursula Carlile to be Inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame Among Four Aussies In Class of 2022 – Updated


For more than half a century, Ursula Carlile, teamed up with her husband, Forbes, to form swimming’s first internationally-prominent husband and wife coaching team.  The two collaborated at every level of the sport by sharing teaching, coaching, filming and administrative duties at their own Ryde Swim Club.  The club originated in a backyard pool of their home in the Sydney suburb of Ryde.  The pool is still there today!  There they taught thousands of youngsters to swim and have coached some of Australia’s most celebrated Olympians.


Ursula and Forbes Carlile Photo Courtesy:

Ursula Carlile began her international coaching career in the Netherlands, where she and Forbes co-coached the Dutch National team from 1962-64 and where she was the Dutch Olympic Co-Head Coach with her husband.  In the following decade, the husband and wife team made frequent periodic visits to the People’s Republic of China, working with China’s top coaches and national team.  In 1980, the Carliles were named Honorary Olympic Coaches for China.


Ursula Carlile Photo Courtesy:

In 1972, Ursula became Australia’s first female Olympic swimming coach when she was selected as an assistant coach to Don Talbot, for the Munich Games. She served as an assistant to Terry Gathercole the next year at the World Championships, held in Cali, Colombia. In 1974, she was selected as Australia’s first female Head Coach for the Commonwealth Games, held in Christchurch, New Zealand.  In yet another sterling accomplishment, during the 1970’s and ’80’s, she and Forbes coached five Olympians – all of them world record-holders: Karen Moras, Shane Gould, Jenny Turrall, Gail Neal and John Bennett.

In the days when Forbes Carlile could not secure official staff selection to the Australian Olympic team, it was Ursula Carlile who accompanied Gould as chaperone at the Munich 1972 Games. Forbes was there in a commentator’s position with the media as Gould raced to what remains a record five-medal haul in solo events among women, her three golds secured with World records, a silver and a bronze completing a unique collection for a a pioneering pantheon.  Gould is Dr. Shane Gould these days.

A Life Member of the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association, Ursula Carlile lectured frequently around the world until lately. Forbes, pioneer of the pace clock and several aspects of swimming science, entered the Hall of Fame in 1976. He passed away on the eve of the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.


Ursula Carlile and swimmers at Ryde Swim Club, Sydney, Australia Photo Courtesy:

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Jennifer Parks
2 years ago

Brava, for Ursula! More women coaches! Hurrah!