Friday, June 25, 2010

Stan Nicholes' Passing - farewelling a St Mary's Parishioner

A funeral service will be held for Stan in St Mary's on Thursday 1 July 2010, at 10.30 am.

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Tennis coach and sports scientist Stan Nicholes dies, aged 91

Stan Nicholes
FROM THE HERALD SUN, Friday 25 June.
Stan Nicholes has died, aged 91.   

AUSTRALIAN sport is mourning the death of Stan Nicholes, one its greatest figures. A coach and sports scientist, Nicholes is a member of the Australian Sport of Fame.
He died at his Caulfield home today, aged 91.

A former weightlifter, Nicholes rose to international acclaim because of his work with Australia's most illustrious champions.

His clients included Olympic gold medallists Herb Elliott and Peter Antonie, grand slam tennis champions Margaret Court and Frank Sedgman and a host of AFL luminaries, including Tony Lockett, Ron Barassi, Tom Hafey and Kevin Sheedy.

As an athlete in his own right, Nicholes held the Australian record for the single arm swing of 81 kilograms.

The event demanded athletes swing a dumbell from the ground, between their legs, to above their head - using only one arm.

Nicholes retired from competition as a 32-year-old and set about changing the face of international sport.

"He was years ahead of his time," said tennis coach Bob Brett, whose credits include major victories with Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic.

"In 1945 or '47, a 15-year-old was sent by Harry Hopman to work with Stan. That 15-year-old was Frank Sedgman.

"People now talk about the importance of fitness and conditioning. Stan was doing it more than 60 years ago."

Hopman, Davis Cup's most eminent figure, used Nicholes' conditioning as a crucial edge in Australia's astonishing run of 15 Cup victories in 20 years between 1950-69.

Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Neale Fraser, Ashley Cooper, Peter McNamara, Paul McNamee, Darren Cahill, American Chris Evert, Croat Mario Ancic and Ukrainian Andrei Medvedev all worked with Nicholes.

Nicholes was involved in two Richmond premierships.

According to the Australian Sport Hall of Fame, Nicholes had a hand in the careers four Olympic gold medallists.

Nicholes was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to sport as a fitness consultant in 1986.

In 2000, he took part in the Sydney Olympic torch relay.

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