About Gary

Gary Brinkman Photography captures quality swimming and sporting images.

We hope that you enjoy browsing through the galleries of images.

As a former International Swimmer and now owner of Swim For Life Australia I have spent most of my life enjoying what water has to offer and helping others do the same.

In capturing the essence of the sport of swimming in my images it is my aim to offer clients quality images that give them lasting memories of their involvement in the sport of swimming.


I began my swimming career in South Africa. I advanced from learn to swim and began to excel at competitive swimming. I went on to become the South African record holder in numerous middle and long distance freestyle events.

As I competed during the apartheid era and due to international sporting bans against South Africa at that time, I was unable to represent at the Olympic Games. I was awarded a swimming scholarship to Southern Illinois University. This allowed me to continue my swimming career and exposed me to the international competition I lacked growing up in South Africa in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

During my time in the United States I swam against many of the world’s best swimmers and was fortunate enough to swim under Bob Steele, Doug Ingram and Jonty Skinner three of America’s finest coaches. With their help and innovative coaching programs, I went on to win 4 US National Championship titles in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events was ranked in the top 20 freestyle  swimmers in the world during my four years in the States.

After completing my studies at Southern Illinois University, I migrated to Australia in the hope of competing for  Australia at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. My attempts to do so were brought to an end when a ruling was past by the governing body of swimming effectively banning me from competing at any FINA sanctioned events due to my past association with South African Swimming.

Forced to retire, I stayed involved in swimming by setting up and running Swim For Life Pty Ltd a swim school with former Commonwealth Games representative Peter Gee. Between 1988 and 1995 we operated teaching and coaching programs at the Sheraton’s Sports Mirage, Sanctuary Cove and Royal Pines on the Gold Coast. In 1995 we began operating Swim For Life at the Southport Aquatic Centre.

In 1991 after becoming an Australian Citizen and with the lifting of sporting sanctions against South Africa, I made a comeback to competitive swimming in the hope of making it to an Olympic Games. After 3 years out of the water and without the intense training base behind me, the task of returning to the highest level of the sport proved to be too difficult and I was unsuccessful.

In 2003 I purchased a Swim School at Broadbeach Waters on the Gold Coast and have been running Swim For Life Australia ever since.