City of Ned­lands com­mu­ni­ca­tion of­fi­cer Michelle New­ton has in­ter­viewed Ric Charlesworth as part of the Faces of Ned­lands se­ries.

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

SPORT has been a life­long pas­sion for Ric Charlesworth but he never ex­pected to make a liv­ing out of it.

Af­ter leav­ing Christ Church Gram­mar School, he stud­ied medicine at UWA, grad­u­at­ing in 1975.

He played cricket for WA un­til 1980 and hockey for Aus­tralia un­til 1988. He played 47 first­class cricket matches for WA and hockey for Aus­tralia in four Olympics, win­ning sil­ver in Mon­treal in 1976.

He was head coach of the Aus­tralian women’s hockey team, the Hock­ey­roos, from 1993 un­til 2000,and the men’s team, the Kook­abur­ras, from 2009 to 2014, as well as tech­ni­cal ad­viser to the men’s and women’s In­dian hockey teams, and high per­for­mance man­ager for the New Zealand cricket team.

He was also a per­for­mance con­sul­tant at the Fre­man­tle Dock­ers.

On top of that, he’s writ­ten four books on coach­ing and is in the process of writ­ing a fifth.

Not to con­fine him­self to the sport­ing arena, he also had a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in pol­i­tics as the Fed­eral Mem­ber for Perth from 1983 to 1993.

He is a doc­tor of medicine and prac­tised in hos­pi­tals and gen­eral prac­tice for about seven years af­ter grad­u­at­ing from univer­sity.

Dr Charlesworth be­came in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics while a stu­dent.

“I was a univer­sity stu­dent in the ’70s,” he said. “The Viet­nam War was in full swing and I was in the draft in 1972.

“For­tu­nately, my num­ber did not come up. I didn’t be­lieve in the war. We protested against the war, the Whit­lam Gov­ern­ment got elected, troops stopped, the draft stopped; that was pol­i­tics in ac­tion.”

Then he was se­lected to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in the 1980 Olympics Games, which were held in Moscow.

He had al­ready rep­re­sented Aus­tralia in two Olympics: 1972 and 1976.

In 1976, the young team won sil­ver, so when the 1980 Games came round, they were more ex­pe­ri­enced and felt they had a good chance of win­ning gold. But they didn’t go af­ter a po­lit­i­cal boy­cott.

His plan was to go back into medicine but hockey called again in the form of the Aus­tralian women’s team.

They had re­turned from the Barcelona Olympics and hadn’t done as well as hoped.

They called Dr Charlesworth and asked him to con­sider ap­ply­ing to coach.

Ric Charlesworth.

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