ASCA head John Leonard has written another open letter, this time calling for members of FINA’s Coaches Commission to leave their posts.
Leonard has been an outspoken critic of the international swimming federation, and has previously written open letters detailing his conflicts with FINA. He’s the executive director of the American Swimming Coaches Association, as well as a founder of the World Swimming Association (formerly the World Swimming Organization), which would serve as a rival to FINA as the international governing body for the sport of swimming.
In this letter, Leonard directly addresses members of FINA’s Coaches Commission, pointing to others who have resigned from the commission and asking remaining members “why are you still there?”. You can read the full letter, published without edit, below:
“Open Letter to My Colleagues.”
As coaches, typically you go to work every day, come up with new ideas, consult with those around you and….amazingly, something actually HAPPENS to improve the lives of the athletes you work with!
Now you’ve served on the FINA Coaches Commission for awhile, where you all have learned that NOTHING EVER HAPPENS!
Prompted by the courage and intelligence of Jacco to resign from the coaches commission, the courage of the two best members of the FINA anti-doping commission (last summer) to RESIGN, and the courage of Craig Lord to RESIGN from the equally impotent FINA MEDIA Commission, I am prompted to ask…WHY ARE YOU STILL THERE?
I speak from experience. I served two full terms on the Coaches Commission, plus experienced it from the outside while my mentor Peter Daland was the first chair, and another term outside, where I served FINA as the “Education Consultant”. In NONE of that time was anything ever actually accomplished, though I enjoyed some fine meals and met some fine coaches like yourselves.
Your continued presence on the FINA COACHES COMMISSION is a buttressing of a BROKEN INSTITUTION with no intent to ever do anything to enhance the lives of anyone but their own Bureau. No help to athletes, no help to coaches, just self-interest. And your serving on the group, allows FINA to say “see, we include coaches!” (yes, for dinner in a secondary sort of way….but NOT FOR DECISIONS or ACTION.)
Each of us must act on our own conscience. But I ask again “WHY ARE YOU STILL THERE?”
I ask this as a friend to every coach, everywhere. You are serving as a stooge and tool of an evil empire. Get out is my best advice. Hasten the rebuild of FINA in a better way. Support the rights of athletes and coaches everywhere.
AMERICAN Swimming Coaches Association.