Sports

Ex Olympian coaches in Yamba

Hailing from the Sunshine Coast, 1964 Olympian gold medal winner John Konrads was invited to Yamba Pool for a swimming workshop last Saturday week, thanks to Clarence River Masters Swim members Bobby Winger and Judy King who set the wheels in motion and organised the workshop.
John Konrads and his sister Ilsa rewrote the swimming world record books in the late 1950’s and early ‘60’s. John was 15 and Lisa was 13 when they set literally dozens of world records.
After three Olympics, with gold in the 1500m in Rome 1960, John went on to coach swimming before starting a notable corporate career. In the last 10 years he has returned to his love of swimming instruction through his ‘Swim Easy System’ as well as being a regular on the guest speaking circuit.
One of the world’s great swimmers, John held numerous world records in 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m freestyle as well as relays, and represented Australia at three Olympics, 1956, 1960 and 1964.
He is an Olympic gold medalist (1500 freestyle, Rome 1960) and triple Commonwealth gold medalist (Cardiff 1958). Together with his sister Lisa, the Konrads kids were the superstars of world swimming.
Retiring from swimming after the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, John developed strong communications and mentoring skills as a swimming coach in Sydney and later in Paris, where he also started his business career.
Returning to the Olympic City of Sydney in 1996, he consulted in marketing, sports venue development and executive coaching. His sporting achievements are recognized by membership of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Keen swimmers and members of the Clarence River Masters Swim Club, swim coaches and triathlete Darren Adams benefited from the personal instruction in and out of the pool with video content. John’s understanding and explanation of the science behind a good technique helped swimmers understand how to get that extra power and speed with each freestyle stroke.
It’s now just a matter of practice, practice and practice!
The chilly wind didn’t freeze each of the participants as they strived for technique perfection under the watchful eye of Coach John. John looked at each swimmer individually, filmed them then spoke on how they could improve their technique. “I was so impressed with the level of enthusiasm amongst the members. It is encouraging for the coaches to see they are wanting to improve. It was a really good clinic for the Club and we will definitely be getting him back”. Said President Jane Lawrence. “Thank you to Richard for the use of the Yamba Pool and Bill Winger for his technical support, also Janet and Clare for setting up the afternoon tea.”
Lots of smiles and laughter during the afternoon tea warmed us up for the pool session that followed.

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