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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2137 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Terry Gathercole represented Australia again in the 1960 Olympic Games. As the minister said, he retains the record for the most consecutive Australian swimming championships, winning the 200 metres breaststroke every year from 1954 to 1960, a very significant achievement for any sportsperson and in the realm of swimming an achievement that has never been matched.

As the minister also indicated, Terry Gathercole, after and even whilst he was competing in swimming, turned his mind to coaching and coached a significant number of teams over the years from the 1960s until, effectively, the last three years. He was also a significant member of the Canberra community. I think it is worth acknowledging that, in addition to his achievements as a sportsperson, a representative of the state and a representative of Australia, he was also a resident of Canberra and made a significant contribution to Canberra in the many roles that he fulfilled here.

The minister has acknowledged the significant role that Terry Gathercole played in refining breaststroke swimming as it is current swum. There was a redevelopment of breaststroke swimming as a result of the introduction of the butterfly at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and Terry Gathercole is acknowledged round the world as the swimmer who refined breaststroke swimming. The stroke that is swum to this day stylistically is very much a result of the design for the stroke that was pioneered by Terry Gathercole when he became the Australian and subsequently world champion breaststroker that he was.

The Labor Party joins the government in expressing its condolences to, particularly, the family of Terry Gathercole and to his friends, to everybody who knew him and to Canberrans, who will miss him.

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, as a former president of the Royal Life Saving Society and a life member of the society, having had a cross bestowed upon me by Her Majesty the Queen for services to water safety, I would like to join the minister for sport in his condolence motion and to share the sentiments of the Leader of the Opposition.

The news of Terry Gathercole's death was a shock to the sporting world. The extent of the loss cannot be underestimated in Canberra as he had such an influence here in swimming, particularly at the Australian Institute of Sport at Bruce. Over more than 60 years, Terry saw the many changing faces of swimming in Australia and worldwide. In the past 50 years, swimming has changed dramatically with the many technical changes to the sport and, as a swimming coach and administration, Terry saw it all. He left an important legacy. There is no doubt that there is quite a hole in Australian swimming following the sad loss.

Terry had many visions for the future of Australian swimming and it is important now that we embrace those. He was recently quoted in a publication titled The Swimmer as saying:

Whatever the future holds for me, swimming has been a lifetime of great experiences...The best thing for our future would be a dramatic increase in our affiliated members, who have a more direct opportunity of input into the decision making of our sport.

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