It is with great sadness that Swimming Australia advises of the sudden passing of National Para Sport Mentor Coach Jan Cameron in the early hours of Monday 30 April 2018 at her home aged 70.
As Swimming Australia’s current Para Sport Mentor Coach, Jan was a much-loved member of our Swimming Family – staff, coaches, officials and athletes alike. Jan’s illustrious career has spanned all areas of swimming including as an athlete, coach and administrator.
An Olympian herself, Jan was swimmer number 109. She represented Australia at both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, winning a silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics for her part in the 4x100m freestyle relay alongside Dawn Fraser.
Jan began her coaching career in 1968 at a small New South Wales club in Port Kembla. Her passion for coaching grew and Jan expanded her experience working in Canada, USA and New Zealand. She was a strong advocate for achieving more and doing better than your best, in all aspects of life.
Her first Games experience came in 1972 as a Paralympic team coach and she then made a significant contribution to team New Zealand as an Olympic coach at the Sydney Games in 2000. And more success followed as the Head Coach for New Zealand at the Olympic Games in Athens, 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
Finally, back on home soil, she represented Australia as a coach at the 2014 Para Pan Pacific Championships, the 2014 Brazil Open, the 2015 Berlin Open, the 2015 IPC World Championships and 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Impressively her squad of six swimmers won 10 medals at the 2015 IPC World Championships.
One of Jan’s biggest coaching accolades came in 2015 when she was announced as just the third Australian woman to gain her Platinum Coaching License following on from her swimmers’ outstanding results at the 2015 IPC World Championships in Glasgow.
With only 23 Platinum level coaches nation-wide, Jan joined an elite group, including both Ursula Carlile and Tracey Menzies as the only three Australian female coaches that achieved this level of recognition.
Jan held the position of Head Coach of the University of Sunshine Coast Para Program from April 2014 until Nathan Doyle took over in February 2017.
In February 2017, Jan was announced as the National Para Sport Mentor Coach; helping to develop technical knowledge to guide and further upskill our emerging Para coaches and played a vital role as part of the Coaching Leadership Team created by Swimming Australia.
Just this month Jan was appointed as Head Para Mentor Coach for the 2018 Commonwealth Games team where she played a vital role in the team’s success on the Gold Coast. This also marked a significant milestone – 50 years in the coaching game.
Jan will be sorely missed within the industry, by colleagues, coaches, athletes and all in the wider swimming community.
Swimming Australia will advise an appropriate memorial in due course. Our thoughts are with Jan’s family and friends at this sad time.
By Swimming Australia Ltd.
Photo: Swimming Australia Ltd.