Reference from John Holt OAM, B.Surv (UNSW) MIS ACS
It is with pleasure that I write this reference for Richard (Dick) Caine. I have known Dick since September l965, when Dick commenced work at fhe Sans Souci Olympic Pool. l was a fresh faced thirteen year old swimmer and Dick was embarking on his coaching career. Little did Dick or I know what our lives had in store.
Fifty ﬁve years later, we still remain great friends. In this time I have seen Dick's amazing achievements as a coach who has developed and shapd the careers and lives on many swimmers and athletes from all sporting disciplines. Dick has nurtured and produced champions all the way from club age group champions through to athletes who are multiple Olympic and World Champions
Dick has the amazing ability to develop love and trust between himself and his athletes. Dick believed in his athletes and he taught his athletes to believe in themselves.
The list of NSW, Australian, Olympic and World Champions who Dick has coached is far too comprehensive for inclusion in this document, however I know many of these athletes personally and each of them acknowledge the invaluable contribution that Dick's expertise, inspiration, encouragement and guidance has made to their careers.
In my own career I have been fortunate to have trained with some of Australia's greatest swim coaches in Laurie Lawrence, Dennis Cotterell and John Rodgers.
The greatest accolade any swim coach can have is the respect and admiration of his peers. Laurie Lawrence came to Sydney early in his coaching career to see for himself and study the success of Forbes and Ursula Carlisle but upon his arrival Laurie discovered the fact that Dick's Carrs Park Squad was performing better than Ryde. Laurie was inspired by Dick and in his inimitable words Laurie said this of Dick: "This short arsed coach worked his troops hard, and I say troops because Dick's swimmers would go to war for 'Sir Richard' ". Laurie said this to me: "Dick actually cared about every kid. He was more than a swim coach, he was a father, mother, mentor and philanthropist who taught his kids more than swimming, and with all his hufﬁng and puffing he turned boys and girls into great men and women". Laurie also said this of Dick: "it did not matter to Dick if you were the best or worst athlete in his team he cared and expected you to live by the mantra 'just do your best and get my respect' "
Likewise, Dennis Cotterell (arguably the greatest distance swim coach in the world) said this to me "If we could just clone six young Dick Caines and send one to each capital city we could put Australian Swimming back on tap at the World in a couple of seasons"
And John Rodgers said this " Dick is certainly one of Australia‘s greatest ever swim coaches but without doubt he is the best ever coach of age group swimmers that Australia will ever see"
It was Dick who increased the distances and intensity of the training sessions he prepared from what had been done by others in the past. Other coaches soon caught on and the programs Dick was doing with his athletes became the standard.
Dick has an amazing passion for coaching and for people. In recent times I have seen him pool side with the same commitment he showed in his youth.
l write this reference now as a multiple World and Australian Champion, a member of the UNSW Sports Hall of Fame, the Surf Lifesaving Australia Hall of Fame and as an inductee into the NSW Sports Hall of Champions. As such in my experenience l have been in the most perfect position to see the invaluable contribution Dick Caine has made to Australian Swimming and sport. Dick is a kind and compassionate man of his word from the old school. Dick has inspired, guided, nutured and encouraged many young people to be not only better athlete, but also to become a better person. Should you require any further information then please contact me any time.
John Holt OAM, B.Surv (UNSW) MIS ACS;