WSCA Releases Statement In Response To ASCA, Other Coaching Associations Disaffiliating

The World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA) issued a statement on Tuesday in response to four national coaching associations parting ways with the organization last week.

On November 8, the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA), Swim Coaches and Teachers Australia (SCTA), Canadian Swimming Coaches Association (CSCA), and British Swimming Coaches Association (BSCA) issued a joint statement indicating they would be withdrawing their affiliation with the WSCA after the organization adopted a new constitution that reduces the voice of its membership.

“The primary reason cited for this disaffiliation is the concern that the recently enacted WSCA constitution fails to meet the standards of organizational oversight and member representation, which are fundamental values for each of the national associations,” the four associations said.

On Tuesday, the WSCA issued a lengthy response, first noting that the only national coaching association among the four affiliated with the WSCA over the last two years has been Australia. The WSCA added that the stated coaching associations (USA, Canada, Australia and Great Britain) have not been part of any constructive discussion and simply challenged the WSCA’s efforts.

The WSCA went on to say the statement was “disappointing, unnecessary and does not best serve swimming coaches on a global level.”

“The Board of the World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA) recently received a statement released by four National Swimming Coaches Associations regarding their affiliation with WSCA,” the WSCA statement reads. “The NSCA’s of USA, Australia, Great Britain and Canada have declared that they no longer wish to continue to be affiliated to WSCA. However, it should also be noted that the only NSCA that has been affiliated to WSCA over the last two years is the ASCTA (Australia).

“In many regards, this statement simply maintains the status quo that we have been working within since 2020. To date, the stated NSCA’s have not chosen to be part of any constructive dialogue, other than to collectively challenge our efforts to serve the global coaching community.”

The WSCA said the new constitution ensures “that the Association’s governance and strategic direction is truly representational on a worldwide level” and that the “WSCA is designed to serve coaches and not coaches associations.”

The new constitution includes that there will be new WSCA continental representatives as of 2024.

FULL WSCA STATEMENT

The Board of the World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA) recently received a statement released by four National Swimming Coaches Associations regarding their affiliation with WSCA. The NSCA’s of USA, Australia, Great Britain and Canada have declared that they no longer wish to continue to be affiliated to WSCA. However, it should also be noted that the only NSCA that has been affiliated to WSCA over the last two years is the ASCTA (Australia). In many regards, this statement simply maintains the status quo that we have been working within since 2020. To date, the stated NSCA’s have not chosen to be part of any constructive dialogue, other than to collectively challenge our efforts to serve the global coaching community.

In September of this year, the WSCA Board voted for significant constitutional change, our strongest ever endeavor to date to ensure that the Association’s governance and strategic direction is truly representational on a worldwide level. WSCA is designed to serve coaches and not coaches associations. The Constitution can be found here. Please do take some time to read it if you can – you will see that it is highly transparent and based on equitable principles.

It is WSCA’s view that the statement from the four NSCA’s is disappointing, unnecessary and does not best serve swimming coaches on a global level. These Associations are ‘disassociating’ from an organization run by volunteers who have no agenda other than to serve swimming coaches worldwide, many of whom are also their members. Rather than ‘outsourcing’ and embracing the role WSCA plays in the sport, there is an implication of a power grab that simply does not exist, and with our new Constitution, never will.

Our new Constitution allows for a true and broadly spread continental representation on the WSCA Board, rather than the previous default structure with control and influence in the hands of two or three powerful swimming nations. With WSCA serving over 14,000 members worldwide, the continents of North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania will each have at least one representative on the Board following the Paris 2024 Games; it is clear and apparent that there remains opportunity for coaches from USA, Canada, Australia and Great Britain to occupy seats on the Board – but not at the regular expense of all other nations. The Constitution also fully facilitates recognized and constituted NSCA’s to be able to further their partnership with WSCA going forward via their own Board seats, available to them through affiliation. It is therefore a sad day to note that these NSCA’s choose to disassociate themselves from WSCA when the aspiration of the Board is for clear, transparent and widespread international representation from all corners of the globe.

From 2024, Continental representatives will be selected from the world’s leading coaches, with coaching performance a pre-requisite of application and acceptance. WSCA is also now in a position to be able to appoint additional ‘skill set’ Directors to the Board to help them enable their 2024-2028 Strategic Plan. It is hard for us to see how this can be seen as anything but good, proactive and inclusive for those we serve and support.

The WSCA of 2023 has evolved to serve two missions. Firstly, the Association provides the voice for the high-performance coaches in the world through continuous advocacy, while remaining as service providers (through education and consulting) for the developing swimming nations of the world. WSCA is the only organization that serves both ends of the spectrum and is also the only Association that can serve the needs of the world’s swimming coaches without a national led agenda.

The door will always be open for all NSCA’s to be partners with WSCA, including the four mentioned above. We sincerely hope that over time, these particular NSCA’s recognize that they have not acted in the interests of the coaches that they represent and that they reach out to us with swimming coach welfare, support and camaraderie at the heart of their decision-making. Since its inception, WSCA has always been, strong, essential and progressive. All of those who would have swimming coach support at the heart of what they do will hopefully recognize over time that we are stronger working together, and that the world’s swimming coaches will be better through worldwide coaching camaraderie.

If you are a coach interested in filling one of the vacated seats on the Board, particularly if you are a coach operating in South America, Asia or Oceania (where we are currently under-represented), please do contact us via [email protected]

As yesterday, as today and as tomorrow, we will continue to work with you and for you.

Yours sincerely

The WSCA Board

The WSCA was founded in 1989 by former ASCA CEO John Leonard, along with Paul Quinlan (former Australian Swimming Coaches and Teacher Association director) and Yutaka Terao (Japanese swim school owner).

Swim Ireland National Performance Director Jon Rudd was named WSCA President in January, with his term running through 2024.

In addition to Rudd, the WSCA Board currently includes Vice President George Block, Treasurer Larry Laursen, and members Don Heidary and Walter Bolognani.

There is also a four-member Advisor Board consisting of Will WangFred VergnouxChris Morgan and Zorro Chan, according to the WSCA website.

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whoisthis
7 months ago

why haven’t i even heard of them prior

Virgil kritzmacher
7 months ago

WSCA, unnecessary and arrogant.

Spieker Pool Lap Swimmer
7 months ago

Is there really a need for the WSCA?

MIKE IN DALLAS
7 months ago

It sounds as though you have two powerful groups that are totally at loggerheads and unable to proceed. I can’t see how that is good for any coaching professional – or for swimmers. Squaring the circle has always proved to be a difficult problem in life.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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