Vale David Woods

posted on 4 June, 2017

School Sport Australia sadly wishes to advise that School Sport Australia Life Member, New South Wales CHSSA Life Member and former President David Woods, passed away on Thursday morning, 1 June 2017.

David was an icon in education and in particular school sport. Not only was he greatly involved with school sport at the state level, he also made great contributions to school sport at the national level, which were recognised with Life Membership of School Sport Australia in 1992.

David was educated at Birchgrove Public School, Drummoyne Boys High School and Sydney Teachers College, where he trained as a Physical Education Teacher.

He was a CHS Water Polo representative, a CHS Swimming representative and a CHS Rugby representative. In 1961 he was awarded three NSW CHSSA Blue Awards for Water Polo, Rugby and Swimming.

David represented Australia in Water Polo at two Olympic Games; Munich in 1972 and Montreal in 1976. He was also a member of the 1968 team that travelled to Mexico, but were excluded from competing.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s he played Water Polo for Balmain and NSW, and  represented Australia in 219 international matches, including two World Championships; Belgrade in 1973 and Cali in 1975, where he captained the side. In 1981 he coached the Australia Men’s Water Polo team, and from 1991 until 1994 he coached the Australian Women’s Water Polo team. The team won the silver medal at the FINA Women’s World Cup in 1991.

His outstanding efforts at the state level were recognised with membership of the NSW Sporting Hall of Fame and Life Membership of NSW Water Polo.  At the national level his contributions were recognised by Water Polo Australia when he was bestowed with Life Membership in 2009.

David was a versatile sportsman who also represented the Drummoyne “Dirty Reds” Rugby Club as a 1st grade second rower in 1960’s, and the Sydney Rugby Union.

David was an outstanding public school educator. After teaching at Ryde High School, he transferred to Sydney Boys High School as the Sports Master, and then to Marsden High School as Head Teacher Administration.

During his teaching career, he convened many sports at the zone and state level. At the CHS level he was the Swimming Convener from 1971 until 1974. In 1979, he was elected as the CHS Vice President, and continued in this role until 1983, when he was elected as the President of the association, a role he fulfilled with great distinction until his retirement, on medical grounds from the Department of Education in 1991.

The legacy of David’s great contribution to school sport continues to do this day. He was instrumental in the establishment of the NSW All Schools program, where the NSW Combined High Schools, the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges and the NSW Combined Independent Schools Sports Associations amalgamated in the early 1990’s to form fully representative NSW All Schools teams. These teams continue to compete with great success at School Sport Australia Championships.

David’s contribution to school sport extended to all levels of sport; the zone, the region, the state and the national level. During his years of involvement with sport, countless thousands of participants have benefited from his knowledge and wise counsel.

David was not only an outstanding sporting administrator, but he was a great family man, and a great friend to us all.

RIP David Woods.