Groves Calls Swimming AUS President Perkins ‘Irresponsible’

In the latest update to the ongoing chronicle involving Aussie Olympic medalist Maddie Groves and her accusations of overall cultural problems within Swimming Australia, the athlete has unleashed additional statements specifically against Kieran Perkins.

Perkins, who serves as President of Swimming Australia, was labeled as being ‘irresponsible’ in the denial of what Groves previously described as a ‘misogynistic culture’ which includes ‘bootlicking perverts.’

Perkins, in an interview with Nine’s Wide World of Sport early last month, acknowledged that, although ‘Swimming Australia isn’t perfect, to suggest that there’s some kind of deep, endemic issue is miles away from the mark.’

Perkins added he would “defy anyone to suggest there’s a cultural issue in swimming at the moment.” (The Guardian)

Specifically, in response to Perkins’ comments, Groves stated, “To ‘defy anyone to suggest there’s a cultural issue’ while there is an ongoing investigation is absolutely shocking and totally irresponsible.

“How could anyone trust that Kieren will act on the report when he is already openly denying there are problems despite already being told about them? Is this the right person to lead Australia’s premier Olympic sport into the future. I don’t think so.” (The Guardian)

She also pointed to the fact that she had received ‘a significant number of messages from people reporting misconduct in Australian Swimming (from roughly 78 people at the time, I’ve had many more since) and at that time several people were willing to sign sworn affidavits outlining misconduct.’

“Despite knowing this, and the fact there is an ongoing investigation going on into Swimming Australia, Kieren thought it was appropriate to say these things publicly.

“When this article came out – I had people contact me saying they no longer felt comfortable making a submission because of these comments.”

As we reported in June, Groves’ social media posts included the following, “Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their boot lickers – You can no longer exploit young women and girls, body shame or medically gaslight them and then expect them to represent you so you can earn your annual bonus. Time’s up.”

Subsequently, an independent panel was set up, supported by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) through the Australian Institute of Sport, and Swimming Australia. The panel’s purpose is to investigate issues related to women and girls’ experience and advancement in the sport of swimming.

On her bowing out of June’s Olympic Trials and ultimately opting out of trying to defend her 200m fly silver medal from 5 years ago, Groves said, “It was disappointing to miss out on an opportunity like that (Olympic trials) but the potential rewards absolutely outweighs the risk.

“But it’s worth it. If this independent panel can have some meaningful outcomes that make the sport safer and more enjoyable for all stakeholders, not just women and girls, that is more valuable than an Olympic medal.”

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chineeese boy
1 year ago


1 year ago

Kieran needs to be more careful with his word.

Last edited 1 year ago by Robbos
1 year ago

You raise your voice against swimming Australia you get outed. Never to be on a team again. I have seen it with numerous families of kids as young as 13. You just have to sit quietly and take it. It’s time to have a a cleanout of all the gravy train in this organisation.

1 year ago

she needs to name names to get anywhere .. I’m sick of this going round in circles mud slinging on social media business..

1 year ago

My understanding and I could be wrong, is all submissions can be anonymous and are presented before an independent panel. A report with recommendations is then presented to two people who would be held accountable for the contents. I am confident that the panel making those recommendations would hardly let the report be dismissed and some action would be required. If a traumatised complainant was serious they would not be deterred from providing such evidence. Nor should they be. Even more absurd would be victims aligning with Groves and informing her that they were not comfortable with the process. Groves has been a self appointed spokesperson for so many diverse topics recently you need to wonder her depth of knowledge… Read more »

Reply to  Auzzie
1 year ago

Talk about attacking the messenger. Is she just a ‘bit hysterical” hey? Men strut around the world, demanding attention, power, money etc and they are heroes. A woman loudly demands justice and she has ‘questionable mental helath, attention seeking behaviours, isnt thinking holostically, questionable motives’…..sigh.

Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

The press and social media releases just before the Olympics had the potential to undermine the Australian Swim Team heading into Tokyo. Whilst not disputing the cause and any distress Maddie has experienced, I was surprised she would risk compromising the performance of her teammates and her relationship with the group. Hey, but what would I know, I’ve only been around the decks for 50 years.

Sam B
1 year ago

reading about Perkins, he is probably not the most credible person with respect to respecting women.

Old Retired Guy
1 year ago

This is an article that discusses Groves’ endometriosis, adenomyosis, and pre-cancer scares. This is all public record, apparently part of the swimmer’s self-released Instagram publicity efforts; and not privileged, confidential medical record.

Ms. Groves has much more than just a full plate, when it comes to medical and behavioral matters. She is doubtless a good person, but it can be ventured, as what is likely a very accurate prediction, that she has been, and is, misperceiving many of the stimuli that are incoming into her intellectual sphere, as she goes about her daily routines.

I’ve written this before, and I’ll write it again: There is NOT a significant, systemic problem with organized swimming in Australia.

Reply to  Old Retired Guy
1 year ago

You’re “old” and “retired”. How do you know if there’s a problem or not?

Old Retired Guy
Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

I know if there’s a problem or not, because I’m observant, knowledgeable, seasoned, and smart. This is generally a part of being old and retired (you didn’t need the quotes; old and retired are the literal states of my body and social/economic position).

Reply to  Old Retired Guy
1 year ago

Um, just saying that none of her publicized medical conditions are actually “behavioral” problems, and other than contributing to her stress wouldn’t make her crazy as you seem to imply.

Old Retired Guy
Reply to  N P
1 year ago

She was put through medically-induced menopause. If you don’t think that causes behavioral issues, then you’re delusional. I also did not come even close to saying that she was crazy, as YOU seem to imply, so there’s that, as well…

Reply to  Old Retired Guy
1 year ago

Maddie Groves has been one of a very few who has had the courage to speak out about these issues. You hide behind a pseudonym and take a high handed, superior approach. If you are trying to prove her point you are doing a good job.

Old Retired Guy
Reply to  Andrew
1 year ago

What you call courage, some call childish, fictional narrative-crafting nonsense. The only good job that I’m doing is to stimulate debate. You seem to be the one who’s just blindly taking sides, insulting people, and ignoring facts.

1 year ago

I think Boxall vs Hawkey, 2,5 hrs of craziness showed that there are some problems with australian swimming…..

Reply to  samulih
1 year ago

I disagree Boxall is a bit crazy but he one hundred cares about his athletes and how he gets the best out of them. I thought the podcast was very interesting. I wish when I was swimming I had a coach like Boxall who could tailor something to suit each person and their personality.

Reply to  Kelsey
1 year ago

yup, swimmers go to practice to get better, so that they can achieve something at the end of the season (or during it)…it is A-OK for a coach to be “crazy” (ie. aggressive in their coaching style, so long as it’s completely relevant to swimming performance) if he’s a good coach. It is never OK for anyone, almost especially a coach, to be a pervert or sexually harass someone. Boxall was never accused of the latter.

Last edited 1 year ago by swimfast
Reply to  Kelsey
1 year ago

A bit crazy? You think? The guy impregnated a railing at the Tokyo Olympic swim center. He said on Hawke interview that he had to try to sedate himself with sleeping pills after the Olympics, but even that didn’t work. We don’t need more Stilnox episodes. He discusses a lot of questionable activities on his part in the Hawke interview, all there on videotape.

Reply to  Garber
1 year ago

We must have listened to different podcasts. What questionable activities? Unable to sleep – same as many people at the moment. Celebrating in the manner of a favourite sports person (a WWE fighter) – didn’t hurt anyone at all – you took it to be an impregnating action in nature and it wasn’t. That’s on you.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel
Reply to  Joel
1 year ago

I have not listened to the Hawke-Boxall podcast yet, but see at link…the reported words of Boxall,Titmus (his swimmer, now apparently a defender of his, regarding his inappropriate comments), other swimmers’ and parents’ allegations, the Hell Months, weight-shaming allegations, his militarism (via his own words!!), these are from August 2019 and should have been red flags to Swimming Australia and its Integrity Unit back then.Hopefully the independent commission picks up the pieces and obtains the reporter’s underlying source material.

Reply to  Wynn
1 year ago

Rohan Taylor did a podcast recently and said he’s spent time at St Peters Western and he sees nothing wrong with the program and Boxall’s methods.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

Read More »