It is with deep sadness that I have learned of the passing today (19 April 2016) of my friend and colleague, Brian Trouville, someone who has been an important part of my professional journey for almost three decades.
Although I was aware that he had been ill for some time, he is someone who somehow seemed immortal, that he would rise above the illness, and just get on with things as legends do.
I met Brian way back in early 1988 when he was Head Coach of the Australian kayak team preparing for the Olympic Games in Seoul, and was immediately drawn to his openness and friendly approach to what became an amazingly successful campaign. He was prepared to try something different, he really ‘knew his stuff’ when it came down to the different component parts of putting together a training program for elite athletes, and his knowledge of physiology, my contribution to the joint effort, was such that we had an immediate understanding of how we could take it forward. In the several years that followed, his deep understanding of the coaching process became more and more evident, and he demonstrated his managerial qualities by the others he brought into what would become the high performance program for the next two Olympiads. His ability to give others the opportunity to shine was, for me, one of his most enduring qualities. Others who had neither his wisdom nor practical abilities opted not to participate fully, and this was a constant source of angst for Brian who was always a team player and always sought to have everyone on the same page.
He was also heavily involved with his first love, surf sports, and coached many athletes and boaties at his beloved North Cronulla Surf Club, and undoubtedly, he will be sorely missed there by those whose paths he crossed.
In 2009, he established the Southside Paddlers and gave countless hours to the members, coaching beginners and advanced paddlers alike, and developing them for participation in local and national regattas. I met a number of the athletes and their parents, and the respect and admiration they held for Brian was obvious.
Always at the ready to give of himself to help athletes, he attended training camps here on the Sunshine Coast to help local athletes from the Kawana Waters Canoe Club on several occasions, including giving up considerable time in the preparation of one athlete for Olympic qualification.
Brian’s exceptional professional integrity and generosity of spirit will be deeply missed by all those athletes and coaches who have had the good fortune to work with him. I know I sure will!