Dick Telford

Successful sports coach turned 'physical literacy' pioneer

ACTState RecipientSenior Australian of the Year2017

Undoubtedly Australia’s most dedicated marathon running coach, Dick Telford has coached distance runners to eight Commonwealth Games medals, four being gold, as well as coaching Australia’s only Olympic marathon medallist, Lisa Ondieki. While his sustained coaching success has propelled him into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, Dick’s pioneering research into the ‘physical literacy’ of Australian children is equally deserving of a gold medal. As the director of the National Lifestyle of Our Kids Study, Dick’s work has shown that quality physical education led not only to better health, but to better NAPLAN results. He’s now working on a plan to implement physical literacy programs into state education systems. The first sports scientist appointed by the Australian Institute of Sport, Dick is currently a professorial fellow at the University of Canberra’s Research Institute for Sport and Exercise and Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University, while volunteering endless hours to coach an elite distance running squad and Olympic marathon runners.