U.S. Swimming Golden Girl Tracy Stockwell (Caulkins) Announced As The New President Of Swimming Australia

Tracy Caulkins The Australian
PRESIDENT TRACY: Newly appointed Swimming Australia president Tracy Stockwell (Caulkins) will preside over Australia's most successful Olympic sport on the road to Brisbane 2032. Photo Courtesy: The Weekend Australian.

US Swimming Golden Girl Tracy Stockwell (Caulkins) Announced As The New President Of Swimming Australia

US swimming legend Tracy Stockwell (Caulkins) OAM has been named today as only the second ever-female president of Swimming Australia.

And it could well herald a major shift in power in Australian Olympic sport.

Stockwell, 59, who married Australian Olympian Mark Stockwell, takes over the leadership reins from dual Olympic gold medallist Kieren Perkins – the newly appointed CEO of the Australian Sports Commission.

She becomes the first female president of Australia’s most successful Olympic sport, since the late Evelyn Dill-Macky, who led swimming from 1992 through the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Tracy Caulkins

ON THE FLY: Tracy Caulkins in her hey day. Photo: Swimming World.

Her appointment also follows her Federal Government nomination to join the Board of the Brisbane 2032 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (BOCOG).

And in what could well be major coup of Olympic proportions, husband and fellow LA Olympian Mark Stockwell is being touted as a popular choice to take over as the new president of the Australian Olympic Committee – a role left vacant by Australia’s “Mr Olympics” John Coates AC – who is stepping down from the long standing role he has held since 1990.

Caulkins was regarded as the greatest American swimmers of her time – winning three Olympic gold in LA in 1984, five World Championship gold in Berlin in 1978 and a remarkable 48 US National titles in a stellar career – after missing the 1980 Games due to the US boycott of Moscow.

Her remarkable achievements in the pool were recognised in 1990 with her induction into both the US Olympic and International Swimming Halls of Fames.

And after her marriage to Mark Stockwell in 1991, Tracy set up her future in Australia, raising the couple’s five children and becoming a highly respected Brisbane-based sports administrator.

Having first joined the Swimming Australia Board of Directors in 2016, Stockwell will lead the sport into an exciting decade of opportunity on the path to Brisbane 2032 – while overseeing the reforms of providing a safer sport for all.

Stockwell will preside over a Board of Directors charged with delivering 46 recommendations from last December’s independent panel report into a wide range of issues including the treatment of females – prompting an unreserved apology from Swimming Australia.

The new president told The Weekend Australian newspaper that Swimming Australia acknowledged: “There have been some negative experiences for people in the past, and particularly some females. And we’re truly sorry for that.

“But we welcomed the independent panel report and their findings and believe that the recommendations will provide a strong road map for our commitment to continually improve our sport.

“The board is very committed to that. And to ensuring that for all athletes, from little Archie at his first club nights to those who are competing at the highest level on the world stage, that it’s a safe environment and a positive experience for the participants.”


BOARD LEADER: Tracey Stockwell (Caulkins) Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia.

Tracy Stockwell said it was an honour to take on the role as President with swimming set to launch off the platform provided by an outstanding Tokyo Olympic Games.

“Swimming has played such an important role in my life, and I feel privileged to take on a role that will empower me to give something back to the sport that has provided me with so many opportunities,” Stockwell said.

“With our Olympic and Paralympic athletes continuing to inspire, we have a collective responsibility to fuel the passion of those millions of Australians who love to swim from the grassroots through to the elite, and continue to unify our broad community.

“As we begin the journey to Brisbane 2032, we must do everything within our capability to fulfil our vision to be globally admired for our performance in and out of the water.”

Stockwell began her professional career with the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) where she worked for two years before assisting in the establishment and operation of several family businesses, including Splash Leisure.

Stockwell is a founding member and past president of Womensport Queensland, has served on the Board of Queensland Events Corporation and as Chair of the Queensland Academy of Sport, as well as being a former member of both the Queensland Advisory Board for Women and Brisbane City Council Sports Advisory Board. She is also a current member of the Advisory Council for The Committee for Brisbane.

She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to sport as an administrator and proponent of sporting opportunities for women.

Swimming Australia CEO, Eugénie Buckley, said Swimming Australia was fortunate to fill such an important role in the sport with someone of Stockwell’s calibre.

“As an athlete Tracy was an icon of swimming and, in the time since, has forged a path as a champion of change that now sees her as one of the most respected and renowned sporting administrators in the country,” Buckley said.

“If we are to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to us on the path toward a home Olympic Games then we must have the very best people in our sport, and I have no doubt Tracy’s significant experience and influence will be an enormous asset in her role as President.”

mark stockwell

VOTE ONE: Mark Stockwell in the running to become Australia’s next president of the Australian Olympic Committee. Photo Courtesy: GC2018.

Stockwell’s appointment sees Swimming Australia with females jointly holding both the presidency and the CEO (Executive Director) roles at the one time, for only the second time in the sport’s decorated history.

One of Australia’s most respected administrators, Vena Murray served as Swimming’s executive officer during Dill-Macky’s time as SAL’s president in the mid 1990s – an era which saw the sport enter one of its most successful eras under Head Coach Don Talbot.

Tracy Stockwell’s reign takes effect from this Monday, February 14, while husband Mark will have to wait until the Australian Olympic Committee’s Annual General Meeting presidency vote on April 30 to learn his fate – but a man who is driven by Olympic ideals who will have the athletes every interest at heart.

It’s a key vote for the future of Australian sport that will drive Brisbane’s march towards 2032 – a vote that remains in the hands of Australian Olympic sports.

If successful Mark Stockwell would become the third AOC president from the sport of swimming – joining inaugural AOC president James Taylor (1920-1944) and Syd Grange (1977-1985).

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

This is a slap in the face to anyone hoping for true change in the culture of AUS swimming. More of the same.

2 years ago
Reply to  CTM

Please explain

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x