By USA Swimming | Friday, December 20, 2019
As we near the end of this decade, we look back on the last 10 years – celebrating our successes, acknowledging our shortcomings and optimistically planning for the future.
Throughout the many important changes, including those of governance and leadership, which ushered in a new era for the sport, our organization has remained steadfast in its mission to grow and strengthen the sport of swimming in the United States. We continue to look for innovative ways to provide world-class services to our membership, to enrich our culture and to develop critical partnerships to provide the life-saving skill of swimming to communities across the country via the USA Swimming Foundation.
We are thankful for each member who has been a part of our journey and who continues to believe in the evolution of swimming in the U.S., not the least of all our more than 350,000 amazing athletes.
It is with these athletes in mind that the USA Swimming Board of Directors recently approved, and will directly fund, the Keeping Athletes First Action Plan.
The action plan will provide the resources necessary for staff to plan, provide and implement appropriate tools and platforms for our athletes and our clubs to thrive. Several of the initiatives are already underway, such as providing funds to Swim Assist, the development of a customer relations management (CRM) system, online member registration, a new educational platform, and increased Safe Sport staff and development. Additionally, there will be the creation of the Keeping Athletes First Working Group, which will work with our staff to build a five-year plan to lead the future development and implementation of the initiative.
Very importantly, the Keeping Athletes First Action Plan will help facilitate a critical investment at the club level to support the advancement of the Safe Sport Recognition program. We stand by our goal to make every USA Swimming team a Safe Sport Recognized Club.
This $5 million investment, derived from Board of Directors’ designated funds, is a significant contribution to services benefitting athletes and a proud reinvestment in the future of our sport. This also continues to underpin USA Swimming’s objective to be a leader in proactive communications that ensure a safe environment for all our members.
As the national governing body, we have long relied on our local swimming committees to be the conduits to our members. The Keeping Athletes First Action Plan initiatives will allow us to develop more direct lines of communications with athletes, coaches, and parents, among others, and to equip our most important stakeholders with critical information and education.
Never has the organization undergone such transformation and we cannot wait to see what incredible things the next decade will bring.
We look forward to an exciting upcoming Olympic year, continuing to offer world-class services, and putting our athletes first.
Wishing you all the very best during this holiday season and happy new year.
Bob Vincent, USA Swimming Board Chair
Tim Hinchey III, USA Swimming President & CEO