In an effort to both increase the strength of their domestic competition program and maximize their commercial exposure Swimming Australia plans to implement a “summer of swimming” initiative. The initiative will maximize the exposure for events that already exist, such as the individual state championships that have just concluded and the BHP Billiton Super Series that is happening this weekend, along with the creation of more high quality domestic competitions.
The summer months in Australia run from December 1st through the end of February.
“For both high performance and commercial reasons we want to ensure we’ve got a greater presence across the year and across our four-year (Olympic) cycle,” Mark Anderson, CEO of Swimming Australia told The Telegraph.
“What we are looking at doing is creating a summer of swimming that leverages some of our existing events that are already there, including state championships.”
“But also creating additional events where we are providing the opportunity for our athletes to have high quality elite competition but also being able to commercialise that with our partners both broadcast as well as sponsors.”
In February of 2013 an independent panel led by Hon. Warwick Smith AM finished a 65 page review of Swimming Australia, which focused on the organization’s leadership, governance and administration as well as it’s culture and declining performance on the world stage. As part of the review it was found that the opportunities of high level competition for the country’s elite athletes needed to be increased.
“One of the things that came out of the Smith Review was our swimmers lacked consistent, high -quality competition opportunities,” said Anderson.
“That will be a high performance focus this year. If we are to be world No. 1 by 2020, we need global competition regularly. So we want high quality athletes coming to Australia to compete and we will go overseas as well.”
“The higher the quality competition we can provide, it’s a win in all aspects of the organisation in our view.”
Anderson also stated that along with increasing the quality of the country’s existing competition structure, possibly including a Grand Prix series, they have had discussions with FINA about hosting different events.
They plan for the “summer of swimming” to be in place in time for the next summer season.