John devotes life to swim coaching

By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.com.au

WORKING for two hard bosses in his lifetime has shaped John Dahl's untiring devotion to teach young children swimming.

'My first boss was my father who I worked with on the farm and he was hard on me,'' he said.

'And then I was my own boss, and I was even harder.'

His jobs in Gladstone have included being a builder, car dealer and a manager of a fuel depot, and he laboured hard on all of them.

Although retired, at 75 he is still working hard on behalf of children, taking eight coaching sessions a day, all without pay.

'Water sports have been a big part of my life and I get a lot of pleasure coaching children,' he said.

He said he had limited his community service to things relating to water.

'To be competent in what you do you have to limit yourself as to what you take on, and I've decided to involve myself with water sports,' he said.

'I have always kept up with the latest techniques of coaching.'

He also applies this philosophy to water safety, and rescue.

'I went through all the techniques from the earliest, such as the Eve's Rocker, the Sylvester and the HolgerNeilsen methods, to mouth to mouth resuscitation and now CPR (cardio- pulmonary resuscitation) ? and I taught all of them in their time.'

John has had a long involvement with the surf lifesaving club and was a founding member of the nippers' lifesaving club. He was also a founding member of the Western Suburbs Swimming Club which celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

He was greatly instrumental in organising the fundraising to build a pool for the club (across the road from the Duck Ponds).

'The club built it with its own money so that children could be coached in swimming without it costing the family too much to learn,' he said.

John said he regarded himself as being very lucky.

'I've had my ups and downs, but if I had my choice to live my life again, I would do it all again.

'I am happy with my achievements, and there aren't too many people who could say that.'



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