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The Sport Mourns Cecil Colwin

Jun 25, 2012  - SwimNews

Cecil Colwin, coach, SwimNews columnist and one of the most prolific and knowledgeable of authors on the subject of swimming, has died aged 85. He will be buried at The Jewish Memorial Gardens in Ottawa today.

Cecil passed away with his son Robert and daughter Pauline by his side in Ottawa. Robert Colwin writes: "As my father's illness progressed it quickly became evident that the doctor's were not dealing with the average patient. Last week after been given a couple days at best my father was moved to a wonderful Hospice facility. As I sat with him in his new room while he was sleeping, his arm raised up from under the covers and started to practice a freestyle entry! I  must tell you it was still flawless. In his own words, he said: "I've had a great run".

Cecil was born in 1927 in Port Elizabeth, Cape Provinnce, South Africa. He coached swimmers from 1945 to 1971 there, moved to Australia 1971-72, was Canada's National Technical Director 1973-1977.

Cecil became South Africa's first full-time swimming coach and for 26 years placed swimmers on every Olympic team until South Africa was banned from Olympic competition under anti-apartheid rules. His swimmers broke four world records.

In 1993 he was induced into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as Honor Contributor. He was a much published author. He was first to conduct extensive research in the fluid dynamics of swimming ("Vortex Theory" amd "Functional Shaping") he wrote 100s of articles for various magazines and journals. His main publsihed works were Cecil Colwin on Swimming (1969), Introduction to Swimming Coaching (1977) (Canadian Level 1 Coaching Manual) Swimming Into the 21st Century (1991) Editor of Level II and Level III Manuals of the Canadian Coaches Certification Program., Swimming Dynamics (1999) and Breakthrough Swimming (2002).

SwimNews will publish an extensive obituary in its next SwimNews Magazine. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cecil and his family and friends.