Oatley MP Mark Coure has paid tribute in State Parliament to “a sporting legend”, Dick Caine, whose lease on Carss Park Olympic Pool will end in June.
“On behalf of the St George community, I thank Dick and his family for all they have contributed to the sport of swimming,” Mr Coure said.
Caine will remain as head coach at the pool but Georges River Council will take over management from July 1.
Mr Coure told Parliament, “As a youngster I, too, learned to swim at the Caine pool”.
The fact that Dick has trained Olympic, World and Australian champions is a credit to him, but it in no way diminishes the importance of teaching children to swim and an awareness and understanding of water safety.Mark Coure
He acknowledged “no amount of training was going to turn me into an Olympian, but I learnt how to swim and it is still something I enjoy doing today with my son”.
Mr Coure said Caine’s name was “synonymous with swimming in the St George area and Team Caine is a familiar sight at Carss Park”.
“Generations of young people have been taught to swim by Dick and his wife Jenny,” he said.
“For more than 45 years, Dick, Jenny and their dedicated teaching staff have instructed and trained local swimmers in a competitive and fun environment.
“Dick's expertise and relentless passion for the sport of swimming has produced and developed a number of Olympians and world record holders, including Michelle Ford, Janelle Elford, Karen Phillips, Stacey Gartrell and, of course, Michellie Jones.”
However, Caine’s priority had always been to deliver learn-to-swim and recreational opportunities to school children and seniors.
“The fact that Dick has trained Olympic, World and Australian champions is a credit to him, but it in no way diminishes the importance of teaching children to swim and an awareness and understanding of water safety,” Mr Coure said.
“Throughout his 45-year career, Dick has taught thousands of children, from babies to teenagers, to swim.
“As Australians we all know how important it is to be able to swim well and be water smart.”