Newly Appointed Moreton Bay Swimming Director David Lush Unveils Unique Research Partnership with QUT

INNOVATIVE MOVES: Australian swim coach David Lush ahead of the game in Brisbane. Photo Courtesy Courier Mail.

Innovative Australian swim coach David Lush has today unveiled part two of his revolutionary performance and research coaching program that will take his athletes towards the 2024, 2028 and 2032 Olympics.

Just 24 hours after Lush was announced as the new Director of Swimming at the Moreton Bay Colleges on the Brisbane Bayside he has confirmed today another exciting partnership with the Brisbane-based Queensland University of Technology (QUT).


FUTURE MODEL: “As long as I’m contributing to the wider aquatic footprint in a positive way.” – David Lush. Photo Courtesy: Courier Mail.

Lush has created a link between Moreton Bay Swimming and QUT that will see a major step towards what the 2016 Rio Olympic Team coach describes as a “360 degree wellness program from ‘Bubble and Breathe’ to High Performance.”

A program where he wants to see future Olympians produced out of Brisbane Bayside – and co-developed with an innovative QUT sports science and research team.

At QUT, Lush will be working alongside Dr Vince Kelly – the Senior Lecturer of the Faculty of Health School, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences – who has worked in the high performance areas with the Brisbane Lions (AFL) and the Brisbane Broncos (NRL) football teams.

And he will provide his athletes that include star pupils Minna Atherton, Calypso Sheridan, Alex Grant and Rio Olympic silver medallist Maddie Groves as research models.

They are among eight former Brisbane Grammar School athletes who will form the High Performance basis of Moreton Bay Swimming (as revealed by Swimming World).



Minna Atherton AUS, 100m Backstroke Final, 18th FINA World Swimming Championships 2019, 23 July 2019, Gwangju South Korea. Pic by Delly Carr/Swimming Australia. Pic credit requested and mandatory for free editorial usage. THANK YOU.

TOKYO HOPE: Coach Lush has taken World Championship silver medallist Minna Atherton from a 10 year-old State age grouper to one of Australia’s major medal hopes at next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

“We will be closely connected with QUT and QUT research where I will be supervising a number of PHD students specifically around high performance,” said Lush.

“QUT will become a testing ground with their vast investment in technology, infrastructure, equipment, and academic research.



“There can be no better subjects than elite athletes and we can nurture and develop with the next generation of sports scientists working with a different paradigm in technology and the assessment of what the 2028 and 2032 athlete will look like.

“And working with the future sports scientists and investing in that research using their full scope of facilities and with some of our best athletes is very exciting – it certainly excites me and I know my athletes are pumped.

“And at the same time of course you also need candidates, people to be involved in the program; that’s why I have dove-tailed that into Moreton Bay College and it’s Learn-to-Swim all the way up to performance and has both boys and girls.

“Moreton Bay Colleges have had a rich history of swimming but over the last 12 months they have not had a coach, so basically I’m walking into a very similar situation I walked in to at Brisbane Grammar School in 2008 having to re-build a program and that’s one of my strengths.

“Re-building programs, connecting with the community in a massive catchment area out on the Bay with not too many competitors.

David Lush

AWARD WINNER: ASCTA Coach of the Year David Lush “Bubble and Breathe to High Performance.” Photo Courtesy: Steve Holland (ASCTA).

“I want to see Olympians come out of Brisbane Bayside; it’s going to start with a more refined piece than I’ve done before.

“The complete 360 degree piece for those boys and girls at the Moreton Bay Colleges and people in the surrounding area and people that come into the QUT program.

“It’s a new challenge, something different and there are a few more pieces to this puzzle that we are not quite ready to announce yet.

“We are going to redefine the way we scholarship athletes into schools; at the moment it’s not done very well and it’s our aim to empower people, similar to the NCAA system (in the US).

“I’m going to create a gateway for parents to say ‘this is the opportunity we are looking for, who do we speak to?’ Instead of filling out 20 page applications I’m going to reverse engineer that.”

Lush has said the reason he has taken on this venture is that he saw a gap in the market.

“Brisbane Grammar goes down to Year 5 and its boys only; the gap in the market as I see is that I can’t currently identify a program that runs from Prep all the way to High Performance and everything in in-between and that runs alongside a school,” said Lush.

“So you are not only investing in the athletes you are investing in them from an academic sense and a student well-being perspective.

“Elite coaches, clubs, institutions provide their athletes with all the tools required to climb Everest, whether it’s the Olympics (or whatever goal is your Everest).

“But not many people have a plethora of tools and provide those tools for people to come back down and that’s the next step that I want to invest in.

“We don’t have an NCAAs so I think there is an opportunity there to invest in the human, the athlete so you can follow their journey, compliment their journey, with that complete 360 degree program.”

David Lush 1

PROGRAMING: Coach David Lush penning an exciting future with Moreton Bay Swimming and QUT. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

But Lush is not walking away from the BGS program he started in 2008 – bribing boys with McDonald’s hamburgers.

“Given I was involved with the BGS program for such a long time with such an emotional attachment to that school and the program, leaving completely was never really an option,” said Lush.

“I have supported the assistant coaches and the kids there for such a long time I have a sense of duty to continue and assist their journey. It has been a fantastic place for me to refine my craft. A place that supported me along that entire journey.

“What I am proud of is the product and the brand that I have developed. And on top of that is the performance that has come out of that.

“When you look at Minna, she has been looking at the same roof at BGS for 11 years; she knows every nook and cranny; she knows where she’s come; she’s humble and thankful for the support she has been given; at the same time we’ve just got a great relationship.

“I have seen her transition from primary school to high school and now Minna wants to have more ownership of her training; it’s such a rare and wonderful experience to share that with her.

“To get that opportunity to see her with the Olympic rings next year that will be the highlight of my career.”

You get the feeling there could well be a few more Minna Athertons on the Brisbane Bayside horizon with the next generations in the exciting hands of coach David Lush and his fast moving High Performance and Research team as they look towards shaping our athletes for 2024, 2028 and 2032.

The final word from coach Lush: “The champion All Blacks rugby union team talk about leaving the jersey in a better place…well that’s what I want to continue to do in the world of swimming… as long as I’m contributing to the wider aquatic footprint in a positive way.”


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  1. avatar

    Looks exciting for the Bayside area. St Peters clearly the benchmark with the holistic program from Learn to Swim through to High Performance model that so many aspire too. Can only be good for swimming to see another club and college try this model.

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