Swimming Queensland CEO: “Why Are We Working Kids So Hard?”

Swimming Western Australia, one of the leading sporting organizations in Western Australia, held its annual conference this weekend, where guest speaker Swimming Queensland CEO Kevin Hasemann presented a ‘state of the union’ of sorts on the not-for-profit organization’ status.

Swimming WA consists of 83 clubs and more than 9300 registered swimmers, including Nanjing Youth Olympics bronze medalist Brianna Throssell from Perth City Swimming Club and Tamsin Cook from West Coast Swimming Club. Its vision is “to ensure that swimming is an essential part of the Western Australian Life” and the evaluation of this goal from over the past year, as well as a planning session for the future was incorporated into the conference.

Key snippets from Hasemann’s speech lends insight into the overall state of Australian Swimming and, to some extent, the sport in general.  According to Hasemann, “the real crisis [in Australian Swimming] isn’t that we only got one gold medal in London, it’s that our membership is declining and so is our revenue; it all starts there.”

Hasemann stated that he “wants to target 7-year-old swimmers now, in order to build our potential for the 2028 Olympics” and stresses the theme of ‘fun’ as a core tenet of securing the sport’s future. Today’s coaching and mentoring emphasis “needs to be on skill, technique, fun” as opposed to overworking kids said Hasemann.  His rhetorical question of ‘Why are we working kids so hard?” seemingly challenges the traditional approach to training within the sport, stressing that “we need to take care of our ‘thoroughbred’ swimmers so they retain their enjoyment.”

Swimming WA’s annual report for 2014/15 indicates that the organization has established a new vision and Strategic Plan for 2015-18, which is aimed at growing not only its competitive swimmer-base, but by striving to be “more inclusive, accessible and engaging with the broader community, ranging from learn-to-swim programs through masters Swimming.

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Ahhh, the old buzzwords. Read everyone is special and should get a trophy.


No. If you want kids’ parents to pay for something, it helps a lot if the kids want it. Working *kids* hard only produces burnouts. A local club started to have young kids with highly refined strokes show up at meets. Swim coaching being so open (at least in this area) I asked how they did it? They do 25s and 50s and talk about technique between each one for more than half of practice.


Sounds like USRPT to me.

Cherrybrook Carlile Swimming in Australia won No.1 Club at NSW State AGE & OPEN Championships 19 GOLD, 25 SILVER, 22 BRONZE Medals. First time in 28 years!


They train USRPT under Doc. Rushall’s guidance.

Whether you agree or not, or like it or not, USRPT will revolutionize the sport of swimming as we know it today. USA Swimming just have to decide whether they want to keep on shunning it (pay for studies to dismiss science behind it) or test it (invest in clubs testing it out with small groups) before dismissing it and let other countries lead the way.


Didn’t another swimming club merge into Cherrybrook (Auburn) for pool reno reasons?

sydney swimming

No merger.

Just a coach moved and some swimmers followed.

I do question the notion of USRPT being used as the now Cherrybrook coach is one of the hardest working coaches in NSW. With great success mind you.


Not sure which lines you read between to assume that is what the speaker was saying, but I think he wants to retain the top athletes who tend to eschew swimming for other sports after years of grinding yardage.

“Fun” is not a four letter word.


Smart Man , get the technique right , make it fun and have kids encourage each other …..
The strongest in body and mind will be apparent soon enough as they all grow and get strong at different times ….
In the process the stroke with the muscle memory lies in wait for that strength of body and mind.


“…the 2029 olympics?” Did I miss something?

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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