Just days after the Australian Swiming League (ASL) was announced, its CEO Stuart Coventry provided a few more details about the unique organization.
The ASL represents a national professional league whose inaugural series of competitions will begin in the fourth quarter of 2022. The ASL is privately owned and funded and will run the competition with the support of Swimming Australia.
First off in a recent interview, Coventry emphasized that the ASL and Swimming Australia will work in collaboration in a cooperative environment.
“If you look at other sports with private investment into leagues on the side, there’s been somewhat of a disconnect, whereas our mantra is to make sure we work very closely with Swimming Australia,” Coventry told Ministry of Sport.
“From a rights perspective, that’s very much the way the agreement has been drawn up.”
In terms of how the ASL will co-exist with the first-ever professional swimming league of the ISL, an ASL representative told SwimSwam previously, ‘ASL will stand alone in the swimming calendar and we don’t anticipate any crossover.’
Today an ISL Spokesperson told SwimSwam, “We are very pleased to see that the sport of swimming continues to evolve. Australia has a long tradition of swimming, deeply rooted in its sports culture. We are honored to have many swimmers from Australia competing in the International Swimming League since its debut in 2019. The creation of the ASL reinforces our own vision of the future for the sport of swimming and we wish the ASL, as well as the many Australian swimmers, all the success.”
Participation-wise for the ASL, Coventry alluded to the top tier of Australian swimming as having expressed interest.
“There’s no doubt there’s some serious gold medal contenders in Australia and the feedback from athletes, coaches and Swimming Australia is that this is the kind of competition athletes want to be involved in,” Coventry told Ministry of Sport.
“They want to be able to showcase themselves and not be forgotten in between major sporting events.
“This will enable us to fit within the sports calendar and own that space.
“We completed a coaches and athletes survey four weeks ago and the feedback was overwhelming that they all support the competition and want to be involved in it,” he said.
Amazon and Swimming Australia have already struck a deal that will allows the Australian Swimming Championships to be broadcasted live on the company’s streaming platform for the next two years. It’s unknown if Amazon will be involved with any of the ASL action, but Coventry didn’t rule it out.
“We’re sitting back at the moment looking at the options on the table for broadcast.”
“We’re looking at having an event in October, and if we don’t get a broadcaster in for that we won’t be concerned, we’re just focused on running the event and showing the key stakeholders what we can do and show what we are trying to achieve as a brand,” he said.