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Vale Phil Coles AM
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Vale Phil Coles AM
Esteemed Member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame

20/07/1931 – 28/01/2023

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame is mourning esteemed Member Phil Coles AM following his passing on Saturday afternoon, aged 91, following a short illness.

Phil Coles was a renowned for his canoeing ability and enjoyed a successful career in the sport where he competed at three Olympic Games (1960, 1964 & 1968), captaining the Australian team in 1968. He won 25 national canoe championships and was national surf lifesaving champion five times but it was in administration that he left a real legacy.

Between 1973 and 1999 he was a member of several committees and commissions, including a member of the Executive Board of the Australian Olympic Committee, Vice President of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) and a member of the International Olympic Committee.Coles was a foundation member of the Executive Board of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (1981) and was a board member of the Australian Sports Drug Agency between 1996 and 1998. He was also a member of the Australian Sports Commission between 1984 and 1987, then again from 1989 through to 1991, before he Chaired the New South Wales Institute of Sport from 1995. He was also named Honorary Secretary for the NSW Olympic Council in 1973, a position he held until 1985.

Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chair John Bertrand AO said, “Phil Coles service to Australian sport, specifically the Olympic movement was outstanding.

He was one of the strongest leaders not only in his chosen sport canoe but a supporter of all sports. Phil’s passion, dedication and service to sport will remain in the history books.Our thoughts are with Patricia, Phil’s family and friends and the entire sporting community.”

Read Phil Coles’ full biography here.


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