Swimming Australia teeters on brink of expulsion from World Aquatics

Aug 18, 2023
Swimming Australia's main issue is that athletes lack voting power on its Board. Source: Getty

Swimming Australia has found itself in hot water as it faces the possible removal of its membership with the World Aquatics for unresolved governance issues.

Although the Aussies won 13 gold medals in this year’s World Aquatics Championships, our swimmers may no longer be able to compete under their country’s flag at the major sporting event unless changes are made with Swimming Australia.

It has been reported that Swimming Australia has violated a number of rules within the World Aquatics Constitution such as the absence of athlete representation with voting authority on the Board, as well as the failure to establish a Stabilisation Committee.

World Aquatics has advised Swimming Australia to expand its membership to allow more representation and inclusivity for athletes.

In response, Swimming Australia has called a general meeting, scheduled for October 20, to vote for the proposed changes to its Consitution, which aims to “modernise changes and governance of the organisation”.

Swimming Australia’s president Michelle Gallen said in a statement that the “message from the governing body is abundantly clear”.

“If we don’t make these necessary changes, then our standing in the sport is in jeopardy,” she said.

“These changes are aimed at our members and bringing much needed – and called for – change and stability to how our sport is governed.

“The changes will ensure the sport’s administration and governance is of a world-class standard and will strengthen the voice of athletes and coaches.

“On the back of our swimmers’ recent success at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, the Para Dolphins in Manchester, and in the leadup to Paris 2024, now is the time for Swimming in Australia to be just as high performing out of the pool.”

The Australians dominated at the Fukuoka 2023 World Aquatics Championships. The team amassed a staggering 25 medals in total, including 13 golds, 7 silvers, and 5 bronze.

Not only did they top the gold medal tally but also matched their historical golden high-water mark of 13 set back in 2005 and 2001. Surpassing their fierce rivals, the United States, on the medal table at a prestigious international meet for only the second time since the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

Fukuoka 2023 will undoubtedly go down in history as Australia’s best-ever meet. Australia’s collective efforts culminated in an astonishing five world records shattered during the championships.

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up