Laurie’s learn to swim philosophies are the product of more than 50 years of successful swim teaching techniques and coaching achievements, including 10 gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze medals from swimmers he assisted at the Olympic level.
His outstanding coaching expertise, leadership and communication skills saw the Australian Olympic Committee make Laurie an integral part of the Australian team at every Olympic Games between 1996 and 2008.
The culmination of decades of experience in the swimming industry has lead Laurie to create the World Wide Swim School, changing the nature of learn to swim programs across the globe.
The World Wide Web has given Laurie Lawrence an opportunity to:
- Share more than 50 years of successful swimming teaching techniques that have taken swimmers from raw beginners to Olympians and Olympic Medallists
- Educate parents on successful swimming teaching techniques used to teach babies and children to swim
- Provide a quality resource for swimming teachers
- Contribute to improving the quality of swimming teaching around the world
Where it all Started
Laurie Lawrence, born in Townsville, tropical north Queensland, is an Olympic Gold Medal and World Champion Swim coach, and former Australian Rugby Union Representative. His father, “Stumpy” was for many years the manager of the famous Tobruk pool on Townsville’s foreshore. During 1956 and 1960, the Tobruk pool was the training venue for the Australian Olympic Team including swimming greats Dawn Fraser and Jon Henricks. As a young boy, Laurie was steeped in this environment and these early experiences as a child would forever influence his learn to swim philosophy.
This was the beginning of Laurie’s love and passion for swimming.
The Early Teaching Days
After completing a Diploma in Physical Education, Laurie started his swim teaching career in the very venue where he admired the swimming greats. For eight years in a row, Laurie taught the child who won the 10 year old Queensland state championship for freestyle.
Laurie went on to coach many of these children to medals at the Olympic Games. This unique feat in international swimming has made Laurie’s learn to swim methods internationally recognised.
The Baby Teaching Expert
Laurie’s passion for baby swimming began after the birth of his first child in 1975. With help from his three children, Laurie carefully researched, documented and developed a program which today is internationally recognised. Laurie’s program is unique in that it:
- Integrates the baby’s physical, social and emotional needs into the swimming lesson
- Pre-conditions the baby for submersion by teaching them to respond (hold their breath) to verbal triggers
- Teaches the baby to swim without the assistance of floatation devices
- Encourages the baby to be independent in and around water at the earliest possible age
- Teaches the baby safety skills that may one day save their life
Elite Coaching Success
Laurie has coached Australia’s elite swimmers at Brisbane’s 1982 and Edinburgh’s 1986 Commonwealth Games, as well as Los Angeles 1984, Seoul’s 1988 and Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic Games. His coaching achievements boast 10 gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze medals from swimmers he has directly assisted at Olympic level.
Water Safety Advocate
Drowning is the greatest cause of accidental death in the under five age group in Australia. In 1988, Laurie launched the “Kids Alive” Drowning Prevention Campaign to combat the problem.
Today, with support from the Federal Government and community service advertising, the program runs nationally. As a result, drowning statistics have reduced significantly. According to Laurie there is still a long way to go. “Our target is zero deaths by drowning”.
Olympic Team Motivator
Laurie’s coaching achievements, his communication skills, and his unique brand of humour saw the Australian Olympic Committee make him an integral part of the Australian team at the Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Laurie was part of the Australian Olympic team with the brief to unite, inspire, motivate and relax the entire team. Laurie’s successes have made him one of the world’s most sought after motivational speakers.
Laurie also balanced his life around the pool with academic studies, including:
- Bachelor of Arts Degree (James Cook University)
- Diploma of Teaching (Kelvin Grove Teachers College)
- Diploma of Physical Education (University of Queensland)
- Master Coach Swimming Australia
- International Hall of Fame Honor Coach
- Honorary Doctorate (Griffith University)