sounds serious

II just read on Swim Vortex that there is now a Professional Swimmer’s Association and that FINA has been taken to court by Katinka Hosszu and Michael Andrew. Something to do with unlawful behaviour in relation to Euroepan Anti-Trust law.

My head is spinning. So far all licensed competitions world-wide follow the same rules, e.g. swimmers have to use the style law made by FINA.

All young swimmers are brought up to those stroke rules and it can take a swimmer up to 9 months to learn a different type of style, once they gotten used to a particular one.

If swimming is going to be de-regulated, then that could also imply that swimming rules could change. E.g. some competitions could use that style and others another.

obviously the world is never going to stand still and things will always change. But I still maintain my views on commercial viability; unless of course tournaments in the World Wide Wrestling, making real show stoppers, which could include swimming shows.

Well, interesting in terms of licensing. Currently all swimming competitions are to be licensed with Swim England, would that also contravene European Anti-Trust laws?

I am not too hopeful that there will be a quick change. Things would cost a lot of money to set up differently and who is putting that kind of money into it, that it would cost to host the alternative swimming competitions.

ISL is hosting a two-day development event at Stamford Bridge.

It will be interesting to see how that extra strain on the swimmers with more competitions, than the ones they usually do will affect their health and whether it will be good for them or not so good.

What is also very interesting is the fact that Adam Peaty for example had his skills trained onto him by firstly his own finance, by being a member of a swimming club and then of course British Swimming has invested a lot in his skill and funded him. So can he just take those skills and run with them without having to pay back?

Fast kicking

There is little point in kicking with a slow squad whilst injured. The kicking of a performance swimmer is faster than the normal stroke swim of an average swimmer and can be even faster than the normal stroke of another performance swimmer.

I have heard that some coaches move injured swimmers to slower squads but that really defeats the object.

If either legs or arms are injured swimmers can still either just use arms or just use legs. The butterfly body kick is a very powerful exercise that keeps the body moving and fit for the purpose. Especially when the shoulder is injured you can literally worm your way through the pool like a snake on the sand of the desert.

More silly comparisons

Just read this article in a German paper where the advertisements a Formula 1 driver can wear on his suit is compared to the fact that swimmers are not allowed to wear advertisements.

That is really the height of illogical arguments.

Compare the amount of space to advertise on from a F1 driver, who is actually covered in fabric, to that of a male swimmer, who wears a tiny bit of cloth around the loin.

How much advertising can go on such a trunk?

I think the swimming and commercialisation debate needs to find a useful consensus and not wildly speculate on the worst comparisons.

The article in Frankfurter Allgemeine compares a swimmer to an ice dancer. Again a useless comparison as an ice dancer can be seen for a prolonged period of time by a large amount of viewers. I remember having spent hours on a Saturday afternoon to watch the ice dance competitions, but swimming is not on for that amount of time and would not attract the same viewers, just like tennis, football or boxing.

I spend a large amount of time near the London Aquatic Centre, located right next to the West Ham stadium. The thousands of people going past the LAC to a football games, compares to a tiny number of people who come to visit a swimming competition.

There is little commercial viability in sponsoring swimmers as much as footballers.

Swimmers spend the most time, they are on-screen, under water. The only time they are able to carry advertisement on them, would be for most of them on the coat or dressing gown they wear prior to the swim or on their cap.

As even Adam Peaty rightly remarked, swimming doesn’t have such a large viewing audience that would make the advertising very viable for companies to pay large amounts for.

Of course some athletes do get sponsorship from companies, which is largely not visible but then there is little point in making it known other than by the sponsors themselves. There are swimmers who get free cars or other perks, which is not widely known.

Katinka Hosszu is one of the most quoted athletes causing grief to FINA over the inability to make money from performance swimming. Yet Katinka has a very viable company in her country, with a commercial website, has an enormous status and sells her own branded merchandise.

I am not sure about Michael Phelp’s reaction to the debate but he is another great example to show how the swimming can create a successful world-wide brand, that sells swimming equipment.

This sparring with FINA is not helping the sport, a sport that relies largely on voluntary involvement to make it happen in the first place.

How many free volunteers swimmers think they can get if the swimmers all earn money from the swims but the volunteers have to work for free?


Can’t swim but volunteer

volunteer award
Well done Madison with Jeremy and Jo

Tonight at the Hackney Aquatics Awards evening, Madison won the Jeremy Tobias-Tarsh volunteers award for providing more than 115 volunteer hours helping other swimmers in the club and the coaches.


If you love the sport of swimming and remember those times when you were in the development squads, then you know how it feels to get that extra special bit of attention that a pool side helper with great stroke knowledge can bring.

Hackney Aquatics has a great young volunteers program, helping young persons into an aquatics career.

The THH and HAC partnership

arena1Overall the location has solved a problem for swimmers and it worked out well. All those swimmers who left Bethnal Green Sharks to continue their careers at Hackney Aquatics have made an excellent choice.

Swimmers always just want to get the best training they can and it was a choice of the committed swimmers from Bethnal Green to move to Hackney.

The Advanced Coaching scheme provides training set to national standards and it proved a treat for swimmers who will compete at the Winter Nationals next week.

Madison is sorry to have missed the Arena league competition final but the team did very well. What a rise from bottom league to Premier League in the space of 2 years. The Arena League is a superb competition concept as it allows the whole team, across the ages and squads to come together as a team and seal the club spirit and set the tone for the season.

For many the friendship and team spirit make the choice to become swimmers easy.