Tim Hinchey, the President of USA Swimming, released the annual State of the Sport report this week, summarizing the 2018-2019 season and outlining the organization’s plans moving forward. One of the largest sections of the report is an update on the relationship between Safe Sport and USA Swimming. The report puts the implementation of the Safe Sport Recognized Club program front and center in this section of the report. The program allows USAS club teams to “demonstrate their commitment to creating a safe, healthy and positive environment for all their members through the development and implementation of athlete protection policies, best practices, and education.” According to the report, over 830 clubs have begun the process of being Safe Sport recognized.
The report also shows that USA Swimming had another positive year for membership. USA Swimming saw a 73.3% athlete retention rate this past season, which sets a record for the highest retention rate ever outside of a post-Olympic year. This year was also a new record for the number of coaches, 20,307, and was the second highest ever for number of officials, 16,603. It is also stated that the number of USAS clubs was virtually unchanged.
Highlighted in the report is the Chicago Park District Community Swim Team, which is the first USAS team to exceed 3000 members, and 100 coaches. The team was created in a partnership between USA Swimming and the Chicago Parks District, and is entering its 4th year, while still looking for ways to expand.
The 2019 season was something of a landmark year for USA Swimming partnerships. Phillips 66 became the longest running partner of USAS when they signed a multi-year extension earlier this year. 2023 will mark the 50th consecutive year of partnership between Phillips 66 and USA Swimming. Toyota also named USAS as one of six new national governing body partners. According to the report, this means that “Toyota dealers and regions will have the opportunity to amplify the partnerships with local activations at a grassroots level with community-based activities.”
Additionally, USA Swimming created its first-ever partnership with an alcohol company, announcing a partnership with Golden Road Brewing. They make sure to note they are being “extremely careful” about entering this partnership, and that their “significant responsibility” to protect the youth in the sport is of high priority. Marriott will return as the official hotel sponsor of USA Swimming. Streamline Brands entered into a partnership with USAS in order to create more swimming programs around the country. Lastly, USA Swimming claims to be “well placed” with Comcast to bring them on as the official Cable Television and Communications Partner.
The USA Swimming Foundation awarded $618,200 to swim lessons providers this year, giving roughly 29,000 children the opportunity to take swim lessons. $856,000 was distributed directly to the National Team as well.
You can read the full State of the Sport release here.