Beyond The Lane Lines: Aussie Pay Cuts, SEA Games Venues Repurposed

Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’  With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.

#1 13-Year-Old Raises Blood Cancer UK Funds

13-year-old Hannah Buzzard of Gosport, Hampshire, UK is showing some initiative during the lockdown, improvising with a temporary pool in the name of raising funds for Blood Cancer UK.

Buzzard is planning on swimming 4 miles per day over 7 days in order to tackle the length of a marathon. However, she will be training in a tiny, inflatable pool in her own backyard.

“People with blood cancer are most vulnerable during COVID-19 because of weakened immune systems so I thought it would be good to raise money,” said the teen.

“I’m quite proud of myself because I have never done anything like this before.”

Hannah’s fundraising efforts have seen more than £270 being donated already, nearing her initial target of £300 to help the charity support those affected by blood cancer and fund research into treatments. To support Hannah’s marathon efforts with a donation, visit

Quotes courtesy of Portsmouth News.

#2 Waldmann Honored in Texas

Andrews High School, located in Andrews, Texas, saw its long-time swimming and diving program head coach Mike Waldmann honored recently. Having been at the helm of the program for 31 years, Waldmann was named the Texas Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association’s 2020 co-recipient of the Theron Pickle Lifetime Achievement Award.

“It was quite a surprise,” Waldmann said. “It’s incredibly humbling. The way I see it, I’ve got some great kids who swim out here and they’ve done a lot of work and they’ve brought a lot of recognition to our program. I view this as just another one of the awards they have received. They just happened to put my name on it. But I’m very happy for our kids.”

Per The Midland Reporter, Waldmann has coached at least one qualifier to the state swim meet in every year with the exception of one (2013) from 2000.

#3 All Belgian Aquatic Activities Postponed Through August

The Royal Belgian Swimming Federation (KBZB), Flemish Swimming Federation (VSF) and Fédération Francophone Belge de Natation (FFBN) have collectively announced that all activities related to all aquatic disciplines are postponed for both July and August. This applies to swimming, water polo, diving, open water, and artistic swimming.

The organizations state that, if the pools are able to open on September 1st, the following swimming activities will proceed:

  • Provincial Championships in October
  • Belgian Junior Short Course Championships November 7th & 8th
  • Belgian Senior Short Course Championships November 14th and 15th

#4 Chandler, Basson & Burckle Inducted to Arizona Wildcats Hall of Fame

Olympians Jean Basson and Clark Burckle are among those Arizona Wildcat athletes headed to the school’s Hall of Fame. Along with former USA national teamer Annie Chandler (Grevers), the swimmers will be honored by the Pac-12 powerhouse during an induction ceremony on August 28th.

A native South African, Basson took the NCAA 500y freestyle title in 2009 and went on to win 2 relay medals for his nation at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Louisville, Kentucky native Burckle won the 200y breaststroke NCAA title for the Wildcats in 2010 after having transferred from the University of Florida. He represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games where he placed 6th in the 200m breast.

Finally, for Chandler (Grevers), she won World University Games gold in the 50m breast in 2011 and was the NCAA 100y breast champion the year earlier.

#5 SEA Games Facilities Now Housing Coronavirus Patients

New Clark City, Philippines is repurposing facilities used at the 30th SoutheastAsian Games, which took place last year, as care centers for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

The New Clark City Sports Complex, which hosted the athletics and aquatic events, is set to house 1500 beds for COVID-19 cases, according to the Philippines’ National Task Force Against COVID-19. The NCC Athletes’ Village has been used as a quarantine facility since February, per ABS.

At the time of publishing, the Phillippines has experienced 5,878 reported cases of coronavirus, resulting in 387 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Center.

#6 Aussie Olympic Committee’s Voluntary Pay Cuts

According to Inside the Games, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Chief Executive Matt Carroll, along with 7 additional members of the senior management team, have taken a 20% salary cut. This follows suit with AOC President John Coates having already reduced his consultancy fees about 2 weeks ago.

Per the report, Carroll will now receive AUD439,117 (£224,000/$279,000/€257,000) for the year as well as his AUD37,500 (£19,000/$24,000/€22,000) bonus for 2019, agreeing to no bonus for 2020.

AOC President Coates thanked Carroll and the others for volunteering to forgo part of their wage.

“These cuts, and net savings arising from the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 2021, will ensure the AOC balances its books for both 2020 and the four-year cycle ending 31 December 2020,” Coates said.

“The AOC, through prudent financial management over the years and now these contributions by our chief executive officer and his management team, is able to continue to fund our Olympic and other teams and provide direct assistance to athletes, while retaining our long held independence, including financial independence, from Government.

“This is particularly critical in these challenging times as Government looks to support so many Australians of all ages and not-for-profit community and other sports bodies who are doing it tough.”

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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