A MIRRABOOKA author has filled in gaps in the history of swimming in WA through a book.
Returning to non-fiction, Ken Spillman (60) released Swimming WA’s first historic publication, Buoyant: A History of Swimming in Western Australia in December.
The book uncovers previously forgotten history and several unknown champions from the 1800s to present day.
After writing 18 non-fiction books, Spillman took a break for almost 10 years, writing fiction such as The Circle and The Magic Bird.
A life member of Newman Churchlands and Carine swimming clubs and a long-time coach over a 25-year period, Spillman jumped at the opportunity to research and write about the history of Swimming WA.
“Not much swimming history in Australia has been written, so in taking this initiative Swimming WA has done something really good for Australian sport,” he said.
“Swimming is pretty ingrained in the Australian consciousness.
“Every time Olympics and Commonwealth games comes around, the people who succeed become national icons, but the history of the sport has been neglected.”
Spillman said some of the highlights of the book were stories of Ernest Cavill and his family’s contribution to the sport and WA being the “hub of world breaststroke swimming”.
He said swimming involved technique and hard work.
“If you talk to anyone who has been through that and reached the top of the sport will talk about the benefits it has given to them in life and not just swimming,” he said.
The book is available at Swimming WA at Beatty Park, the Royal WA Historical Society in Nedlands and independent book stores.
For information, visit www.kenspillman.com.