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Vale Bill Webb

Dr William F Webb OAM, MB BS Bill Webb completed school at Fort Street in 1956 and entered Sydney University to study Medicine in 1957. Bill also entered St Andrew?s College at Sydney University at that time.

Bill rowed in the College Eight five times during his time at College, which was a very successful period for the College crew. Bill also rowed in the 1960 and 1961 winning SUBC Eights in the Oxford and Cambridge Cup, and was selected in the Australian Eight to compete in the Commonwealth Games in 1962. Bill coached the St Andrew?s Eight from 1964 to 1984, and during this time he also coached a number of University crews.

After graduating from University in 1962, Bill worked for many years as a General Practitioner at Castle Hill before establishing a Sports Medicine practice in the late 1970s. As a Sports Medicine practitioner, Bill worked extensively with Rowing servicing the needs of rowers of national teams and many clubs for twenty four years. Bill also provided valuable assistance to SUBC through medical support of our elite athletes. He was also involved with a number of other sports, including managing the Sports Medicine for a number of senior Rugby Union, Rugby League and Soccer teams.

In 1978 Bill was elected to the Council of St Andrew?s College where he served with distinction for the next twenty one years.

Throughout his life, Bill principal advisor and supporter was his wife Helen who unfortunately passed away in March this year.

Bill is survived by his daughters Jocelyn, Kirsten, Diana and Catherine, and son-in-law Robbie. He will be greatly missed by the many, many people who knew him.

Bill’s work for Australian and State teams was most highly regarded in our sport. Former Australian Team Manager Andrew Guerin has compiled this summary of Bill’s service over the years.

Webb, William OAM, Sydney University Boat Club (NSW)

1981 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1982 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1983 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1984 ? Olympic Games ? Team doctor

1985 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1986 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1986 ? Commonwealth Games ? team doctor

1987 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1988 ? Olympic Games ? team doctor

1989 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1990 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1991 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1992 ? Olympic Games ? team doctor

1993 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1994 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1995 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1996 ? Olympic Games ? team doctor

1997 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1998 ? World Championships ? team doctor

1999 ? World Championships ? team doctor

2000 ? Olympic Games ? team doctor

2001 ? World Championships ? team doctor

2002 ? World Championships ? team doctor

2002-03 ? Councillor for NSW on Rowing Australia

2003 ? World Championships ? team doctor

2004 ? Olympic Games ? Pre Olympic Tour doctor

Past President of the Australian Sports Medicine Federation

1985-2002 ? FISA Medical Commission

Bill has devoted a large part of life to assisting the Australian teams and he can take credit for the high standard of support given to the teams. The growth in our success of in international competition can be attributed in a significant part to the development of medical support for the teams. Bill was the principal medical officer of Rowing Australia and has enhanced the medical support of teams through the strategic use of the Sports Institutes facilities and resources.

There have been several important changes to the way our teams have been treated both at home and abroad. The first was clinical in the way Bill established treatments, facilities and equipment for our teams. For example, he pioneered the treatment of stress fractures in athletes which has enabled them to return to competition very quickly. Other changes include the establishment of the position of principal medical officer which arose from the decision of John Coates and John Boultbee. The other has been the establishment of the medical network to provide medical support of athletes during the year. This was created by Bill and Andrew Guerin whilst they held the positions of team doctor and team manager. Finally Bill introduced other medical professionals to the team: physiotherapists in 1988 and psychology and masseur support in 1990. He also introduced two teams of medical support during tours to enable the team to get the use of the best professionals available. He has also extended the medical support to under 23 and junior teams.

Finally, Bill has had a big influence in the establishment of a doping control programme in rowing. Bill was also probably the first Australian to have a personal appointment (i.e. not representative) to an international medical commission being the FISA medical commission.

Bill was an enormous contributor to the sport of rowing in Australia and around the world and will be sadly missed.

Compiled by and from Matthew Duly and Andrew Guerin



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