2002 PARAGON AWARD
Author, Coach, Scientist, Researcher and Historian
A competitive swim coach since 1945 Cecil Colwin has long
been known for his work on the technical aspects and history of swimming.
Internationally he is known as a coach, stroke technician, administrator,
educator, lecturer, researcher, author, cartoonist and illustrator.
He is the only person to coach and serve on three continents – Africa,
Australia and North America. Born
in Port Elizabeth, Cape Province, Colwin became South Africa’s first full-time
swimming coach and for 26 years, placed swimmers on every Olympic team until
which time South Africa was banned from Olympic competition.
His 1956 squad, with the exception of one swimmer, comprised the entire
Olympic team. In 1952, he
originated the age group swimming program of South Africa and before he moved to
Australia in 1971, his swimmer had broken four world records and earned eight
positions on Olympic teams. During
his tenure in Australia, Colwin’s swimmers won nineteen state championships
and three national championships. In
1973, after a worldwide search, he was appointed National Technical Director of
Canada, during which time he implemented the early stages of Canada’s
successful “TAG” (Top Age Group) talent identification program for
discovering aspiring young swimmers. He
edited the “Level II” and “Level III” Canadian Certification Manuals and
has served on almost every Canadian organizational committee.
Colwin developed a six-point plan for Canadian swimming for the 1976
Montreal Olympics where the Canadian percentage of finalists improved 15.4 %
from 5% the previous three Olympic Games (USA 18%).
Colwin was the first researcher to conduct extensive
studies into the fluid dynamics of swimming, based on the vortex flow in the
water. He has written over 100 articles and papers for a variety of periodicals
and is the author of Cecil Colwin on
Swimming (1969) and Introduction to
Swimming Coaching (1977), Canada’s official Level I coaching manual which
has been printed every year since 1977 in English, French and German.
In 1991, his major work, Swimming
Into The 21st Century” was published with over 300 of Cecil’s
own illustrations. In February of
2002, his latest book “Breakthrough
Swimming” was released by Human Kinetics.
Over the years, he has delivered over 200 lectures and clinics.
He contributes a regular column in Swim
Cecil Colwin was inducted into the International Swimming
Hall of Fame in 1993.
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