The Swim Coaches & Teachers Australia have named Dean Boxall of St. Peters Western its Australian Coach of the Year for the 4th time, setting a new record for the organization.
Boxall was awarded with a number of other coaches over the weekend in a ceremony on The Gold Coast during the Australian Short Course Swimming Championships.
His star pupils, Mollie O’Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus, each came away with multiple gold medals at the World Championships. O’Callaghan won the 100 and 200 free individually, including a new World Record in the 200 free, breaking the legendary record held by Italian Federica Pellegrini.
Titmus won the 400 free individually, adding silver in the 200 free and bronze in the 800 free.
But it was the relays where Boxall’s most impressive feat came. All four swimmers on Australia’s World Record setting women’s 800 free relay in finals train directly under Boxall in a single training group at St. Peters Western – O’Callaghan, Shayna Jack, Brianna Throssell, and Titmus.
- Michael Bohl, Griffith University – Kaylee McKeown (World Champion, 50/100/200 backstroke)
- Tim Lane, Somerville House – Cam McEvoy (World Champion, 50 free)
- Peter Bishop, SASI – Kyle Chalmers (World Champion, 100 free)
- Damien Jones, Rackley – Sam Short (World Champion, 400 free)
Other Major Award Winners
Courtesy: Swim Coaches & Teachers Australia press release.
Other major winners presented with their awards at The Star Casino ballroom were Kate Sparks (Yeronga Park, QLD) who was named the Open Water Coach of the Year and the Multi Class Coach of the Year while Richard Sleight (St Peters Western) was named Age Group Coach of the Year.
Sparkes steered Rio Olympian Chelsea Gubecka, who was in the room tonight, onto her second Olympic team after her silver medal in the 10k at the Fukuoka World Championships.
As well as coaching Paralympic gold medallists Rowan Crothers to two gold and Katja Dedekind to one gold at the Para World Championships in Manchester.
Sleight led the St Peters Western team to another coveted and much sought after National Age Pointscore and he has just returned from the World Junior Championship in Israel where he coached Jamie Perkins to gold in the women’s 400 freestyle and Jacyln Barclay to gold in the 100 backstroke.
A record number of nominations were received for the Swim Australia teaching awards with Canberra’s Rhiannon Kocmar of Aquatots ACT winning the much sought after 2023 Teacher of the Year.
Rhiannon has been a swimming instructor for over 21 years, dedicating and nurturing the next generation of swim instructors.
She goes beyond her role by providing comprehensive qualifying courses, where she imparts not only technical skills but also instils her infectious enthusiasm for swimming. Her students are empowered to become effective and empathetic instructors who prioritize safety and enjoyment in the water.
Rhiannon’s commitment to her craft is exemplified by her impactful work as a swim instructor in Thailand through Rotary.
Her selfless efforts have not only enriched the lives of countless individuals but have also contributed significantly to the mission of water safety awareness. Her ability to connect with diverse audiences and tailor her teaching methods to various learning styles is truly commendable.
There was also a Highly Commended Award for Teacher of the Year which went to
Henry Taylor from Alpha Learn to Swim in Queensland
Henry has been teaching/coaching in regional Queensland for the past 27 years and is a pillar of the Central Queensland community teaching children how to swim and making them safer around water.
The 2023 SWIM Australia Teacher of the Year for Learners with Disability went to Kelli-Jane Smith, from Little Snappers Swim School, Queensland.
Kelli-Jane has been teaching for 28 years and is currently developing an alternative needs program for Little Snappers.
Kellie, who holds a Diploma and Degree in Sports Psychology, has adopted the “To, For, With, Alone” teaching methodology to maximise engagement and learning outcomes for her students, her peers and in providing education and advice to the parents and professionals within the wider swim community.
While the 2023 SWIM Australia Teacher of the Year for Babies & Toddlers award went to
Alena Sarri from Aquatots, ACT
Alena has been teaching babies classes for the past 21 years and is the director of Aquatots Swim School. Alena is also a Diamond status teacher.
Her ability to create engaging and enjoyable lessons captivates both babies and parents alike, fostering a love for water activities that extends well beyond the pool.
Alena’s knowledge and experience has been tapped into on the world circuit with Alena presenting at the Austrian Baby conference and the Nordic Swim Conference.