The American Swimming Coaches Association understands and appreciates the need for USA Swimming to alter its governing bodies this year as it works to comply with the Ted Stevens Act. We fully support compliance with the Congressional and USOPC mandates and support cooperation with the USOPC in reaching solutions. USA Swimming continues to be a leader among NGBs, and the coaches within USA Swimming are grateful for continued efforts by leadership and the working groups to reach out and involve its members in the restructuring process.
As the process plays out, ASCA urges USA Swimming to recognize and value the vital contribution of coaches to the success and continued improvement of our NGB as it considers how to make mandated changes to the governance structure.
On behalf of all coaches in USA Swimming, ASCA strongly supports guaranteed coach representation equal to the required 1/3 athlete representation. Coaches are the lifeblood of our sport. We have a vested interest unlike any other stakeholder. We have devoted our lives and our careers to our athletes and to the sport, and in fact our families and our livelihoods depend on its success. To reduce our voice and our vote within the USA Swimming decision-making bodies would be detrimental to our sport and especially to the athletes whose lives we shape every day.
ASCA calls on USA-Swimming to:
- Require the House of Delegates, Board of Directors and National Committees to be made up of at least 1/3 Athletes and at least 1/3 Coaches.
- Create the Athletes Advisory Committee (AAC) at the June 30, 2021 meeting so it may quickly move to redefine the 10-year athletes and pursue inclusion of 10-year+ athletes and para-athletes in the athletes’ pool prior to the vote on the restructuring on the House of Delegates, Board of Directors and National Committees.
- Remove the House of Delegates proposal from the agenda of the June 30, 2021 Special House of Delegates meeting and move it to a meeting later in 2021 so that more time, deliberation and involvement of stakeholders can be achieved before the proposal is brought to a vote.
USA Swimming is at a critical juncture in its evolution. Decisions made now will affect athletes, coaches and the sport for generations to come. We urge you to utilize all available time to involve all stakeholders in meaningful and respectful deliberations so that the very best decisions are reached and the 400,000 members of USA Swimming can move forward in a united and successful way.