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25 November 2016

Synchronised Swimming Foundations workshop

25 November 2016, DSR

story by Brad Scott: WAIS & Athletics Australia athlete, Paralympic Games 800m, 1500m runner

Today I was back at DSR with my good mate and Olympic Kayaker, Jesse Phillips. I always enjoy my workshops with Jesse. We seem to have a similar point of view and we like to elaborate on some key areas. It was great to spend some time with the Synchro WA girls to deliver the Foundation Workshop.

I really enjoy the way we start the workshops with the new material. We begin with a short video about an athletics athlete competing in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Derek Redmond was a British runner competing in the 400m. He was favoured to win a medal. Unfortunately, down the back straight, he tore his hamstring... Race over right? Not for Derek. Destined to finish he picked himself off the floor and hopped his way around the track. I’m not going to explain what happens next because I think that you should check it out for yourself. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Jesse and I had an in depth discussion with the athletes about that video. We asked them that if they were in a similar position, would they finish the race. No one would have held anything against Derek if he stayed laying on the track. But instead he created a moment that will be remembered for his bravery and determination. What would you do?

Another favourite part of mine is the Integrity of sport module. Unfortunately, at the moment, the playing field isn’t fair for a lot of sports. There are athletes deliberately breaking the rules to gain an advantage. We discussed not only how this impacts the athletes, but also the image of the sport. Also, that whether winning with illegal assistance is actually winning. There is so much emphasis on winning that people are losing sight of what is actually at stake. There has never been a more important time than now to clean up the images of sports across the world

With these athletes looking up to their local synchronised swimming Olympians (who coach them regularly) as role models and people that they wish to emulate, I challenged them to think about who are they themselves are role models to. And whether they believe that they are behaving in an appropriate manner for people to emulate.


As an athlete, whether you like it or not, you are a role model. People (most probably children) will look up to you and most probably mimic your actions. This is important to remember. You play an important role in your sports future. You are paving the way for the next generation. Food for thought…



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