Royal Commission: Scone trophy named after convicted coach until 2014

THE Scone Swimming Club continued awarding a trophy named for a formercoach convicted of indecently assaulting young swimmers in the 1980suntil one of his victims contacted it this year and asked it to stop,the Royal Commission has heard.
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The victim, referred to as “AEB”, told the commission on Mondaymorning, it made her “nauseous” to learn the Stephen Roserbreaststroke award had been given out to children, even after he wasconvicted in 1994 of indecent assault and for committing acts ofindecency against a child, relating to her and another complainant.

The Royal Commission’s 15th case study of institutional responses tochild sexual abuse, which entails a public hearing that began inSydney on Monday, is focusing on the sport of swimming and responsesto allegations against three coaches.

Roser was the coach at Scone between 1985 and 1987.

He was AEB’s coach in the summer of 1985-1986 and at a trainingsession that December wanted her to try a new swimming “technique” toimprove her breaststroke.

Counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC told that Roserinstructed AEB, then aged 13, to float stomach-down in front of him.

He was supporting her then moved his hands to her inner thighs and put his fingers inside her swimmers.

She was abused another three times by Roser, who, when convicted, wasordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

In her evidence, AEB told of the depression and anxiety she sufferedas a result of the abuse, which she reported to police in 1993.

She wanted to tell her story so that it was understood abuse occurred”not only in the big institutions but the small institutions like theScone swimming club”.

This year, she emailed the club about Roser’s convictions and askedthem to change the name of the breaststroke trophy.

About three days later it replied that it had held an extraordinarymeeting and resolved to remove Roser’s name from the club book.

Ms Furness said current club president Joanne Wright was expected togive evidence that the club was not aware of Roser’s convictions untilAEB contacted it.

Ms Furness also said the club did not put a child sexual abuse policyin place until June 3 this year, following AEB’s correspondence andinquiries from the commission.

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