Athlete
Date Inducted: 24 Nov 1999
Sport: Surf Life Saving
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Barry Rodgers - Surf Life Saving

07/08/1941 - 07/06/2016

 

Barry Rodgers was considered by many to be one of the greatest surf all rounders. Powerfully built, his performances in all types of seas stamped him as a true 'gladiator of the surf'.

Rodgers joined Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club when he was 14 in the 1954/55 season, and was mainly interested in swimming. Competing in all types of events, his record speaks for itself, winning a total of nine national titles, 13 state titles as well as numerous club and district championships.

His first success came in 1957/58 when, at the national championships he won the junior belt championships and was runner up in the junior surf event. That same year in the New South Wales state titles, he won the junior belt and was third in the junior surf. The following year, 1958/59, he won the junior surf and finished second in the junior belt at the national championships. He won both titles at the state championships.

The next 15 years saw Rodgers dominate the Australian senior surf scene, from the surf and belt events to the Iron Man, Malibu and Long Board titles, notably winning the national senior surf title in 1962/63 and three consecutive national Iron Man titles, 1966/67, 1967/68, and 1968/69. He represented Australia in the USA in 1964/65, New Zealand in 1966/67, and South Africa in 1968/69, the latter two as captain of the Australian team. He was an inspiration to all competitors and for his team efforts, was voted by South Africa as the finest lifesaver and fiercest competitor ever to visit their shores. The USA and New Zealand were quick to agree that whilst Barry was captain and competing, Australia was unbeatable.

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.