Swimming NSW mourns the passing of Forbes Carlile MBE

August 3, 2016

 

Forbes is pictured with his wife Ursula.

 

Forbes was a Swimming NSW Vice Patron, and was a true icon of our sport. We extend our condolences to Ursula and the Carlile family at this difficult time.

 

ASCTA Vale Forbes Carlile

 

It is with great sadness that ASCTA announce the passing of our legend and Number one swimming coach Forbes Carlile.

Forbes Carlile MBE was born in Armadale Victoria on 3 June 1921.  Growing up in the Sydney suburb of Mosman, Forbes, like most Australians, had an early need to learn to swim. He was at first an unwilling student in his lessons at the nearby Balmoral rock pool, but swimming soon became his boyhood hobby and sport of choice.

Carlile was Australia's first post-World War II Olympics swimming coach in 1948. He was also Australia's first competitor in the modern pentathlon at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki.

Carlile studied at the University of Sydney under Professor Frank Cotton, graduating and later lecturing there in human physiology. His pioneering work on elite athlete training methods included interval workouts, pace clocks and log books, heart rate tests, training under stress and T Wave studies of the ventricles. He developed techniques such as even paced swimming and the use of two-beat kicks for long-distance events.

His book, Forbes Carlile on Swimming, was the first modern book on competitive swimming with its study of tapering and the historical development of the crawl. Other books by Carlile include A History of Crawl Stroke Techniques to the 1960s.

In 1977 Carlile was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame at Fort Lauderdale, USA. Other awards include the Queens Jubilee Medal (1977), ASI Life Member (2003) and NSSA Hall of Fame (2003). In 1977, Carlile was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to swimming. In 1984 Carlile was inducted as a Life Member of the Australian Swim Coaches Association. In 1987 he was inducted as a Master Coach with the association. In 1989 Carlile, was inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame.

For many year Carlile was an integral member of the ASCTA Conference and was always seated in the front row beside his wife of Ursula.

He will be sadly missed by the whole swimming community.

On behalf of the ASCTA Board, staff and all members we send our best wishes and strongest support to Ursula in this time of sadness.

 

Carlile Swimming Media Release - Forbes Carlile passes at age 95

 
Earlier today, Australian Swimming legend Forbes Carlile MBE passed away at age 95.

 

Carlile was Australia's first post-World War II Olympics swimming coach in 1948. He was also Australia's first competitor in the modern pentathlon at the 1952 Olympics Games in Helsinki.

 

Forbes was a coach to many Australian champions. During his coaching career he produced 52 Australian team representatives, who have broken 31 individual world records between them. In all, he participated in 5 Olympic Games – London, Helsinki, Melbourne, Rome and Tokyo between 1948 and 1964. He was also selected as the Head Swimming coach at the 1980 Moscow Olympics but later withdrew.

 

Carlile studied at the University of Sydney under Professor Frank Cotton, graduating and later lecturing in human physiology. Together with Professor Cotton, they set up Australia's first Sports Science lab at the University of Sydney. In 1946, at the Palm Beach rock pool, the pair set up a scientific swimming group. It was here that Forbes was able to structure training and measure the performance of athletes year round.

 

It was also at Palm Beach that Forbes first introduced the pace clock. This innovation has left the Carlile stamp on virtually every pool deck around the world.

 

His book, Forbes Carlile on Swimming, was the first modern book on competitive swimming with its study of tapering and the historical development of the crawl. Other books by Carlile include A History of Crawl Stroke Techniques to the 1960s.

 

In 1977, Carlile was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame at Fort Lauderdale, USA. Other awards include the Queens Jubilee Medal (1977), ASI Life Member (2003) and NSSA Hall of Fame (2003). In 1977, Carlile was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to swimming. In 1984, Carlile was inducted as a Life Member of the Australian Swim Coaches Association. In 1987, he was inducted as a Master Coach with the association. In 1989, Carlile was inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame.

 

While competitive swimming has been Forbes’ primary passion, he has been a pioneer in the development of learn-to-swim techniques, especially in the area of baby swimming.

 

In 1961, together with his wife Ursula, the Carlile’s built the first Indoor heated teaching facility in NSW, in the backyard of their home at Cross Street in Ryde. Carlile Swimming continues to operate out of this facility today.

 

The guiding principle for the learn-to-swim programs is encapsulated in Forbes's motto:

“To swim well is an asset for life.”

 

Forbes is survived by his wife Ursula, who in her own right is considered a legend of both Australian and international swimming.

 

Carlile Swimming Director, Richard Cahalan, said “the Carlile Swimming family is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of it’s founder, Forbes Carlile. A pioneer, an innovator, a scientist and widely considered as ‘swimming’s conscience’, Forbes will be sorely missed by his staff, his swimmers, his coaching peers and the worldwide swimming community. Our hearts go out to Ursula at this very sad time.”

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