On Sunday 28 July 2019 Randwick Council renamed part of the Maroubra Beach foreshore ‘Barry Rodgers Place’. Barry was a much loved member of Randwick City and his passing in 2016 left a void in the community. Barry’s commitment to Maroubra was unparalleled – by naming part of the park after him, we acknowledge the importance of his contribution to our community.
Barry was a great man and a great mate. He was competitive, but he also generously shared his knowledge and skills, helping others to achieve their goals. Born in 1941, Barry grew up in Maroubra and raised his own family there. He loved the beach and spent many days of his life volunteering as a surf lifesaver.
Competitive and committed
Barry became dedicated to the surf lifesaving club, and volunteered with the club for more than sixty years. His competitive ability was awe inspiring.
It was only two years after he joined the club, at the age of 16, that Barry won his first title - which became the first of many!
Competing for Maroubra, Barry won the national Ironman title for three years in a row and in surf lifesaving, he won six national titles and 11 NSW state titles. In 2005, Barry was named Sydney’s Greatest Ever Surf Lifesaver – a remarkable feat!
In 1999, Barry was inducted into the Sports Australia Hall of Fame.
Leaving a legacy
But it wasn’t just competing that motivated Barry – he loved sharing his knowledge and teaching others too. With his brother John, they ran the John & Barry Rodgers Swim School at Heffron Pool in Maroubra (now known as Des Renford Leisure Centre). They coached hundreds of young swimmers including Max Metzker, Graeme Brewer and Ron McKeon, all who became international Olympic competitors.
In 1981, Barry became the first swimming coach at St Catherine’s School in Waverley and established a learn-to-swim program that is still running there today.
This past weekend, we named part of the Maroubra Beach park – the ideal position between Maroubra Surf Lifesaving Club and the Seals Club – Barry Rodgers Place. Next time you’re in the area, pop on down, throw down a picnic rug and enjoy the beautiful beach that is Maroubra.
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