The World Swimming Association (WSA), an organization founded and led by John Leonard (also the executive director of the more entrenched American Swimming Coaches Association, or ASCA), is calling a constitutional convention in Washington D.C. in September.
The group has been fighting to overthrow FINA as the international governing body for elite competitive swimming.
The announcement of a convention is a concrete step by the WSA toward achieving its goal. It also confirms the group’s intent to work with the Professional Swimmers Association – a union that Leonard wants to create to represent athletes.
According to the announcement, the group has been working with a law firm for 18 months to formulate the constitution, but will spend the day of the going through line-by-line and making adjustments and changes to the document.
Announcement courtesy of the World Swimming Association. The opinions stated below do not necessary reflect the opinions of SwimSwam. The announcement below has not been edited.
The World Swimming Association Will Hold Its Constitutional Convention on Friday, September 1, 2017 in Washington, DC, USA, at the Washington Hilton from 3:00-8:00 p.m., in conjunction with the 2017 ASCA World Clinic. Coach George Block, WSCA President, will conduct the constitutional convention.
What is the World Swimming Association?
It is an alternative to FINA. It is based on the concept of being athlete centered, coach directed and professionally managed. It will be transparent in function, focused on true development of the sport worldwide, and provide a viable alternative to the corruption and self-serving management of FINA. The Professional Swimmers Association (PSA) will be a key piece of the WSA.
Why should I attend the Constitution Convention?
Because this is our opportunity as coaches to craft and construct an organization that serves the selfless purpose of bettering the sport that all of us had in mind when we became coaches. It is the embodiment of our dreams, in opposition to the continual disappointment and dismay with the decisions and corruption of FINA.
If we do not begin this now, then when? And if we do not do it, then who will?
What will we be doing?
It is a constitutional convention, so the focus is on the constitution. WSCA has worked with an international law firm to take the feedback that we got over 18 months of online discussion, and has crafted it into a draft document. We will consider it line by line and make changes/adjustments and pass a constitution at the end of the day.
Secondarily, once that task is complete, we will create and begin discussions of the proposed WSA working committees, and set initial tasks. More on that in upcoming updates.
Who should attend?
Every coach from all nations who want to see good governance in our sport and transparent operation of a global body for the benefit of the athletes and not the suits who sit in fancy chairs at the swim meets. You will be setting the standards of the best alternative organization in the world… the real version of “Olympian Thought”.
WSCA Executive Director