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WADA's Coach True


Ralph J. Richards

WSCA Board of Directors

  • CEO, Australian Swimming Coaches & Teachers Association)
  • Director, WSCA-Australia

Dr Ralph Richards was appointed CEO of the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA) in July 2005. As an organization, ASCTA provides member services, educational materials, support for the national coaching accreditation scheme, administration of a member's insurance scheme, and serves as an advocate and policy voice for Australia's swimming coaches and swimming teachers.

Ralph has 30 years of experience in the sport, most within Australia, as well as experience as a sports development manager and a brief background within the learn-to-swim industry. He has an in-depth knowledge of coaching and teaching from swim-school operations to club coaching and high performance sport.

Since the 2000 Olympics, he has held a management position within a learn-to-swim business and worked at the Victorian Institute of Sport--as Regional Program Manager then as a Project Manager. Prior to 2000 Ralph was involved in high performance swimming and elite sport development within Australia, serving in these key positions:

  • Head Swimming Coach, Western Australian Institute of Sport (1998-2000)
  • National Coaching & Development Coordinator, Australian Swimming (1994-97)
  • Director, National Sports Research Centre of the Australian Sports Commission (1993)
  • Senior Women's Swimming Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport, (1990-92)
  • Head Swimming Coach, South Australian Sports Institute (1988-89)
  • Head Swimming Coach, Melbourne's State Swimming Centre (1982-87)

Coach Richards has placed swimmers on Olympic, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, Pan Pacific, Oceania, and World University Games teams. He served as Assistant Coach for Australia's 1988 Olympic Team, and was Australia's Head Coach for the 1991 World University Games. He coached Nicole Livingstone throughout her age-group career and guided her to a World Record in the short-course 200m backstroke and the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics.

As an advocate of coach education Ralph has worked closely with the Australian Coaching Council from the earliest days of the (Australian) National Coaching Accreditation Scheme. In 1997 Ralph received the Eunice Gill Award from the Australian Sports Commission for his long-term contributions to coaching education. In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his service to the sport of swimming.

Ralph's competitive swimming career took place in the USA where he was born and educated. He was a nationally ranked age-group swimmer, later swam at Eastern Michigan University where he was a member of their NAIA Champion teams in 1968-69. He received his Doctoral Degree in Exercise Science in 1982 from Indiana University, where from 1976 through mid-'82 Ralph served as a research assistant and assistant swimming coach under the Doc Counsilman.