Audio Shane Gould talks on a sports champion's qualities, 2008

TLF ID R10247

This is an edited sound recording of the former champion Australian swimmer Shane Gould talking about what is required to be a champion sportsperson. Gould suggests a high degree of all-round activity is needed at a young age to produce good physical development prior to specialisation in a particular sport. She says that successful sportspeople must be willing to train hard, have a desire to constantly improve performance, and have perseverance. Finally, she says, they must love competing.

Educational details

Educational value
  • In this recording, Shane Gould (1956-) emphasises the importance of enjoying sport, suggesting that the ideal athletic preparation for children up to the age of about 12 or 13 is to play and experiment with a wide range of physical activities. She recommends that children play in nature as much as possible, taking part in outdoor activities such as beach swimming, BMX riding, cross-country running, climbing trees, fishing and wading through creeks.
  • Gould alludes to the physical and mental difficulties of adhering to a training program. She states that it can be hard work, resulting in sore muscles and tiredness, and there can be a temptation to give up training to join friends who are doing other things. Gould suggests that young people should never give up training in the middle of a season, as they may find they get over a 'hump' that is causing them to lose interest.
  • Within two years of entering international competition in 1971, Gould became the first person, man or woman, to hold all world freestyle records from 100 m to 1,500 m simultaneously. She had first gained international attention when she equalled the women's 100 m freestyle world record in 1971, then broke world records in the 200 m, 400 m, 800 m and 1,500 m freestyle.
  • Gould won five individual medals representing Australia at the Olympics Games in Munich, in what was then West Germany, in 1972. She won gold medals in the 200 m individual medley, and in the 200 m and 400 m freestyle events, all in world-record time, and one silver and one bronze medal in other events. She was named Australian of the Year in 1972.

Other details

  • Publisher
  • Date of contribution: 20 Sep 2013
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL:
  • Copyright holder
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL:
  • Remarks: Copyright Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Author
  • Date of contribution: 2008
  • Name: Shane Gould
  • Remarks: speaker
  • Content provider
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL:
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  • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.