ISL Set To Launch ‘Solidarity Programme’ For Athletes

The International Swimming League (ISL) has today announced the launch of what they call a ‘Solidarity Programme’ for athletes, beginning on September 1st this year.

The programme will contain two things;  First, all athletes who have a contract (or will sign a contract) with any of the ISL clubs will receive a set amount of money per month, starting from September 1st 2020 – July 1st 2021.

Second, a training block and tournament are to take place from October 14th-November 17th 2020, where athletes and coaches will be hosted in a world-class facility (yet to be announced) for the period of 4-5 weeks.

The ISL have said that “financial grant shall assist the swimmers during these challenging times to
prepare for major events in 2021 and a full ISL season in 2021/22”.

It appears that this new programme and event may be acting as an alternative to the 27-meet season 2 which was planned to start in September. The ISL have said that; “Our program for 2020-2021 takes into consideration feedback from our athletes and coaches and respects the need for a full training preparation before summer 2021”.

However, there has been no definitive confirmation on the fate of season 2. As per the statement, it is worth noting that the ISL have referred to season 2 as being “a full ISL season in 2021/2022.”

When pressed for more details about how this will impact recruiting, or the remainder of the season, an ISL spokesperson says that none are available. The Australian is reporting that 320 athletes will receive $1500 (USD) each under the program, and that league founder Konstantin Grigorishin has proposed Southeast Queensland as a possible location for the camp.

The postponement of the Olympic Games to next year has certainly thrown a spanner in the works for the ISL, disrupting their plans to hold a full 27-meet season over the course of 6+ months (September 2020-Spring 2021).

Season 1 vs Season 2:

The first ISL season took place across three months (Oct-Dec) last year and saw 8 teams (4 European, 4 American) competing. In total, $2,580,400 was awarded in prize money to the 256 athletes that competed during the first season, with Sarah Sjostrom the biggest earner with $139,700.

In season 2, the league expanded to 10 teams with the introduction of a Tokyo-based team (yet to be named) and the Toronto Titans. It is also set to increase to a whopping 27 meets, which founder of the league, Konstantin Grigorishin, announced last November.

Full Statement:

Dear Athletes,

As you all already know, the entire world is going through undeniable challenges in relation to COVID- 19 with the ISL being no exception.

We believe the athletes of ISL are its main asset and considers all of them as partners. To acknowledge this, we have decided to provide support for our athletes in 2020-2021 by implementing the ‘ISL Solidarity Program’ during which the ISL will organize a radical swimming event unprecedented in swimming history.

Through the ISL Solidarity Program each athlete that has signed or will sign a contract with an ISL Club will receive an equal amount of money per month, starting 1st September 2020 until 1st July 2021. This financial grant shall assist the swimmers during these challenging times to prepare for major events in 2021 and a full ISL season in 2021/22.

We strongly believe that the International Swimming League is the future of competitive swimming, and our program for 2020-2021 takes into consideration feedback from our athletes and coaches and respects the need for a full training preparation before summer 2021.

As part of our initiative, ISL will organize later in 2020 an innovative training and competition experience for athletes and coaches for a duration of 4-5 weeks. We propose to host all athletes in one location in a world-class facility and cover all associated expenses. All athletes involved will have the opportunity to be accompanied by their home coach.

During this period, scheduled from 14 October to 17 November, ISL will organize a commercial tournament in its revolutionary club format and add an exciting new reality concept to the production. The global exposure of this event will furthermore enhance the athletes’ profiles and increase the popularity of our sport. We strongly believe that this event, never before seen in swimming history, will serve as a demonstration of solidarity, humanity and unity of the swimming community to the entire world.

We are all in this together, ISL

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Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo

I don’t know if understand it correctly. Does it mean that ISL meets like last year’s will all be canceled and be replaced by this 4-5 week program? And will all ISL club members train together in one place during this period (as long as they’d like to) and have one tournament together?

Johnson

Excellent idea it allows all athlete,s to not stress financial hurt’s , healthy eating, proper training.

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo

Offering financial help to swimmers is good, but I’m not sure I support gathering everyone together in one place. It should depend on how the pandemic is developing. And I don’t quite understand what exactly they are planning to do with the 4-5 week program even after reading the statement three times.

RUN-DMC

Yes to question #1. Question #2 – my guess is only a few athletes will choose to take this training block.

LOLCOPTER

Maybe something was lost in translation, but WTF is going on here?

Hard to follow a league when you can’t understand it.

Does this just mean that everyone’s going to join Energy Standard for 5 weeks? Man, KG really wants to win, doesn’t he?

This league is totally losing my interest.

RUN-DMC

Hard to blame them considering:
– They were expecting a post-olympic surge of interest
– They don’t know when people will get over their fear of assembling and traveling
– They don’t know when governments will allow them to assemble
– They don’t know how many fans will have enough money to attend a swim meet

I’m glad they are planning something for 2020. This is a first!

Lolcopter

Sure, I’m willing to cut anyone (including the IOC and FINA) some slack with how much uncertainty there is going on.

But, this is not new for them. Since day 1 I’ve been very, very confused about what’s happening at all times. Even when they put out a “rule book” it didn’t answer most questions and didn’t seem to be followed all that closely.

The format is fun and new for a little while, but it still just feels like a sideshow to me – I WANT to follow the league, but I CAN’T follow the league, because they’re making it impossible.

Zane

You mean I have to find someone to take care of my cats for 4-5 weeks? Can I pack them?