Sporting communities mourn respected administrator Glenn Tasker

Glenn Tasker pictured in 2007 in his role as CEO of Swimming Australia. Picture: Craig Sillitoe
Glenn Tasker pictured in 2007 in his role as CEO of Swimming Australia. Picture: Craig Sillitoe

A number of Australian sporting communities are in mourning after the death of Glenn Tasker.

Mr Tasker, from Taren Point, died on Thursday morning following a sudden illness. He was 67-years-old.

Mr Tasker's death has deeply saddened people from the Paralympic, swimming, tennis and football communities with tributes flowing in for the highly respected sporting administrator.

He was president of the Australian Paralympic Committee from 2013 to 2018. Mr Tasker also held the position of vice-chair with the International Paralympic Committee's sport technical committee for swimming.

Mr Tasker was honoured with the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and was also a NSW Olympic Council merit award recipient. He was also recognised with the Australian Sports Commission's service to sport award in 2017.

Paralympics Australia president Jock O'Callaghan said many were devastated by Mr Tasker's loss.

"The thoughts of every director and staff member at Paralympics Australia are with Glenn's wife Henny, their children and loved ones," he said.

"Everyone within our organisation is in debt to Glenn's contribution to the Australian Paralympic movement over many years. He was a wonderful leader, colleague and friend to so many people around the world.

"His achievements as president of Paralympics Australia will leave a legacy for years and decades to come. He was able to skilfully guide the organisation through one of the most tumultuous periods in its history between 2014 and 2015 and into a new era of Paralympic sport in Australia."

Paralympics Australia chief executive Lynne Anderson described Mr Tasker as a "beautiful family man and also an incredible sports administrator."

International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons said Mr Tasker was an "exceptional individual, much loved by all who met him and greatly admired and respected by all those who worked with him."

"The thoughts of the whole Paralympic movement are with Glenn's family, friends and colleagues at this terribly sad time. His contribution to the Paralympic movement was immense," Mr Parsons said.

Mr Tasker, a passionate Dragons fan, started his sports administration career as executive director of NSW Swimming in 1990. He played a significant part in introducing events for swimmers with disabilities into the NSW Age Swimming Championships, which was a first for any state swimming championships in Australia.

He left in 1998 to become the swimming competition manager at the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. After the Olympics, Mr Tasker became general manager of the NSW Amateur Soccer Federation before returning to swimming as CEO of Swimming Australia in 2001.

It was a major period of change for the organisation after the departure of long-standing national coach Don Talbot and executive director Vena Murray. But during Tasker's leadership, Australia enjoyed their most successful Olympics since the 1956 Melbourne games, winning seven swimming gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Mr Tasker oversaw Australia's five gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympics before returning to Sydney to become CEO of Tennis NSW. He stayed for five years.

Mr Tasker had been elected to the Australian Paralympic Committee board in 2008 and was elected president in late 2013, serving for five years.