Vale Forbes Carlile



Vale Forbes Carlile. 3 June 1921 - 2 August 2016.


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 (the forerunner of ASCTA). In 1987 he was inducted as a Master Coach with the association. In 1989 Carlile was inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame. He was ring holder #1 in the ASCTA Australian Olympic swimming coaches list.

For many years, Forbes 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.

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