Collection Description (from online finding aid): In the early 1930s, Frank Read became an accomplished oarsman with the Vancouver Rowing Club. Following a back injury, suffered while playing football, that ended his rowing career, he went into the hotel industry. In late 1949, Read agreed to coach the University of British Columbia rowing team which, at the same time, began a formal co-operation with the Vancouver Rowing Club. In recognition of both institutions, it was decided to call these new members "VRC/UBC" oarsmen.
Despite very limited resources for UBC’s fledging rowing program, Read focussed on the importance of training and conditioning and instilling in his athletes dedication to the sport. His intensive training program soon produced results. Competing against other top Canadian teams to represent the country at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, the UBC team was beaten by the Toronto Argonaut club. Two years later, Read’s eight-oared crew represented Canada at the 1954 British Empire Games in Vancouver. There the team won Canada’s first ever gold medal for the eights. The following year, invited by the Duke of Edinburgh to compete against the world’s best at the Henley Regatta in England, the students scored an upset victory over the world champion Russians in the semi-finals, and finished second to the U.S. team in the finals. In 1956 Read lead his rowing teams to the Melbourne Olympics where the coxless four won a gold medal and the eights came a very close second to capture a silver medal – these were the first Olympic medals won by Canada in rowing.
After a brief retirement (1957-60) Read returned to coach the rowing team at the 1960 Rome Olympics. That year, his eights finished second, earning Canada’s only medal at the games. Following the Olympics, Read once again retired, bringing to a close an important era in this country’s rowing history. Read was also a mentor to those who followed him as rowing coaches. During his first retirement, John Warren coached the UBC team which represented Canada at the 1958 Empire Games in Cardiff, Wales, winning a gold and two silver medals (in the eights, fours, and coxless fours, respectively). Two others, Wayne Pritty and Glen Pervyn, were on the coaching staff for Canada’s rowing teams at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo (resulting in one gold medal in the pairs) and the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg.
The fonds consists of scrapbooks, clippings, photographs, correspondence, speeches, publications and awards that chronicle Reads career as a rower and, more particularly as a rowing coach.
Online Finding Aid link: http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/u_arch/read.pdf
Archive Name: University of British Columbia Archives
Archive Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Archive Website: http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/index.html