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Albert ‘Bert’ Kinnear

Physical Education (Cert Ed 2Yr), 1943

Albert ‘Bert’ Kinnear attended Loughborough College before joining the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm training as a pilot in the USA. On leaving the Navy Bert became a teacher of PE before returning to Loughborough in 1949 as a lecturer in Physical Education.

As a swimmer, he represented Great Britain and Scotland achieving a number of accolades including 1948 London Olympic backstroke finalist and 1950 British Empire Games Bronze medallist in New Zealand.

Bert became the first Performance Director of Swimming and during the 1950s he transformed swimming coaching by shifting the emphasis from ‘style’ to ‘conditioning’. In 1959 Bert Kinnear left Loughborough to take up the role as National Technical Officer with the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and in essence, became the British Head Coach. During more than seven years in the post he took hundreds of training courses, as well as writing articles and papers and taking part in the production of short films. In 1960 (Rome) and later in 1964 (Tokyo) he was appointed Olympic Swimming Chief Coach.

Following his departure from the ASA in 1967 Bert maintained his involvement with the sport by working with ITV Sport and commentating at the Mexico (1968) and Munich (1972) Olympics.