World’s Best Unite To Establish Independent International Swimmers’ Alliance

by SwimSwam 9

June 08th, 2021 Industry, International, News

Courtesy: International Swimmers’ Alliance

8 June 2021: Today marks the formal launch of the International Swimmers’ Alliance, an independent organization established for athletes, by athletes that aims to fight for swimmers’ rights and provide them with an independent global voice.

Formed in response to the calls from professional swimmers worldwide for independent representation, the International Swimmers’ Alliance has a goal to improve personal and economic opportunities for all elite swimmers by elevating the sport into the modern era.

The non-profit International Swimmers’ Alliance aims to engage in positive dialogue with the IOC and swimming’s international governing body, FINA, to bring about the change required to modernize the sport. The Alliance’s goal is collaboration but at the same time hold those accountable at FINA when not acting in the best interest of the athletes. While all modern professional sports leagues have an average athlete to administrator ratio of 1:3, the IOC’s administration structure is 1:50 respectively. Additionally, all modern professional leagues have revenue sharing agreements with athletes of roughly 50-50, swimmers receive no compensation for competing either at the Olympics or World Championships. Swimmers have united to address these glaring comparisons.

The Alliance’s main objectives, which will be decided by the swimmers include:

  1. Promoting the advancement of all swimmers and the sport.
  2. Improving and maintaining relations with all governing bodies and event organizers.
  3. Improving economic conditions of swimmers (including, at the appropriate time, the establishment and maintenance of pension plans, health insurance plans or other benefit plans for swimmers),
  4. Developing enterprises aimed at expanding benefits for the Alliance and its members (including, at the appropriate time, the sponsorship or organization of professional competitions).

“Very little has changed in the business structure of professional swimming since Tom Jager and I were the first true professional swimmers in America three decades ago. This fact is not lost on today’s top swimmers.” said Olympian and International Swimmers’ Alliance Manage Matt Biondi.

The International Swimmers’ Alliance has also agreed to a strategic partnership with Global Athlete, a progressive athlete start-up movement aiming to inspire greater athlete representation in organizations across the world of sport. The partnership brings together two organizations with similar values to collaborate on projects, share insights and drive change that will ultimately benefit the athletes and the sport.

“Global Athlete is proud to be a partner with the International Swimmers’ Alliance. Establishing an independent association is a critical step in enhancing athletes’ rights. It is so important for athletes to have their own professional representation and they are in good hands with Matt leading the charge.” said Rob Koehler, Global Athlete Director General.

The Alliance Board meets monthly and has established short-term and long-term goals for the organization based on initial athlete feedback. The “Alliance website” further allows for current members to voice their concerns on troubling issues they are experiencing and for the board to focus on improving the most common and pressing problems faced by pro swimmers today. The website is also intended to build membership for all eligible swimmers with a top 20 world ranking in an individual LCM event.

Swimmers’ Alliance Board member and Canadian Olympian Brent Hayden added “I want to be a part of the International Swimmers’ Alliance as a way to give back to the sport that has already given me so much. In fact, all Alliance members have the potential to make positive change for generations to come.”


The International Swimmer’s Alliance structure:

The initial International Swimmers’ Alliance will be governed by the “Alliance Board” of 10 members. To learn more about the International Swimmers’ Alliance, visit our brand new website and sign up and register to receive up-to-date information.

For further details please email [email protected].

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1 year ago

Curious as to why they appear to be limiting membership to only those with a top 20 ranking. Seems like it will be a very small (compared to the total number) group – and very fluid in its membership.

1 year ago

This alliance or a similar one existed 12 to 15+ years ago with other big name athletes, so I’m curious about the details (minutes) of those board meetings and what has been proposed vs achieved in that time period, if any? Without casting shade on any of my swim colleagues, former and present, very little has been done and I suspect there has never been a clear plan of action, beyond Facebook/forum threads of compaining. On LinkedIn you’ll find many Olympic athletes that (probably) unknowingly joined this lobby-interest group/campaign of athletes when they registered to this site for then “right” to use the “OLY” title in their name, similar to how doctors use PHD. Now, I admit that it’s many… Read more »

1 year ago

I would like to see the ISA lobby the swimming federations of the USA, Australia, Great Britain etc. to break away from FINA and form a new international body. Once a few of the leading nations break away FINA will become a house of cards.

1 year ago

I would love to see no more FINA. They’re garbage.

1 year ago

You do realize that means no more Olympic participation right? FINA holds all the cards as authorized by the IOC and the rot is so complete it’s never going away. If you want to get rid of FINA you’re going to have to get rid of the IOC and the Olympics themselves. Its a pretty terrible situation to be sure – the $$ is going to continue to talk and feed the fat cats.

Reply to  tallswimmer
1 year ago

I’m no sports lawyer but this fear of FINA breakaways being banned from the Olympics seems overblown. In the short term the IOC might recognize FINA and rely on it for the technical running of the Olympic swimming competition. But the IOC and its member nations are still the gatekeepers, not FINA. If swimmers from a breakaway nation met all the qualifying criteria only their national Olympic Committee or the IOC itself could prevent them from competing. But why would they do that? The IOC owes FINA nothing. What’s more the IOC cares very much about its image. Its credibility would be shot to pieces if it threatened to ban some of the world’s best swimmers only because their national… Read more »

He said what?
1 year ago

Once upon a time, FINA had some integrity. That vanished when the DDR came into the picture and they all turned their heads the other way. After that, slippery slope time.

1 year ago

Kinda of excited for this. A lot of swimmers quit before the have reached their peak because of financial constraints. Hopefully this will give swimmers some longevity in the sport

Reply to  Gggggg
1 year ago

Swimmers really need to get on with their lives and not pursue the ridiculous over the hill endeavor.