PHOENIX, Arizona, August 3. IN the August issue of Swimming World Magazine, CEO Brent Rutemiller addresses some political intrigue within FINA regarding getting a coach on the FINA Bureau in this month's edition of A Voice for the Sport. The column is reprinted below.
Next year at the World Championship in Shanghai, China, the FINA Congress will assemble for an Extra-Ordinary Session to review the FINA Constitution and Bylaws. Part of the review must include legislation that allows for coach and athlete representation on the bureau level of the organization.
"What!?!" you say. "The two most knowledgeable and instrumental segments of the aquatic community are not already on the FINA Bureau? How can FINA make decisions that affect coaches and athletes without their input?" Change the bylaws now to correct this imbalance!
Not so easy when the existing powers in charge try to control the legislative process.
A little background:
FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) is the world governing body for aquatic sports, including swimming, diving, synchro, open water and water polo. The FINA world is divided into five geographical areas (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Oceania) representing 194 countries. Each one of those areas is subdivided into zones (Africa, 3 zones; Americas, 4; Asia, 3; Europe, 4; Oceania, 1). Every zone elects a representative to the FINA Bureau. So, if you do the math, 15 zone representatives from the five geographical areas serve on the FINA Bureau.
An additional seven people are elected to the FINA Bureau as at-large members, bringing the total to 22 people. This body makes most of the decisions for aquatic sports in the world. A congress is formed when all members and country delegates come together to vote on legislation.
Normally, new legislative proposals are sent to the bureau prior to the meeting of the congress. Along the way, FINA's legal commission reviews the proposals, which are eventually sent to the FINA Executive Committee, which then forwards to the bureau for recommendation. The recommendations—either for or against—are then presented to the congress for voting.
Earlier this year, Asia, Europe and the Americas submitted a joint proposal that included placing a coach and an athlete representative on the bureau. The legal commission sent the proposal to the FINA Executive Committee for distribution to the bureau.
However, it appears that the executive committee took the unprecedented step of choosing which parts of the proposal should be forwarded to the bureau for recommendation and to trash those parts that it personally did not support. The part that included a coach on the bureau never saw the light of day and was mysteriously absent.
The fact that individuals within a select group can control what is to be voted on is against common democratic principles.
John Leonard, executive director for the American Swim Coaches Association, recently echoed this point when he said, "Eliminating the ability of the federations to propose changes is completely undemocratic and against the entire spirit and history of FINA, and should not be tolerated by the federations. Just like every other congress, all proposals from the federations should be brought forward to the floor of the congress for consideration."
The fact that members of the executive committee have acted in a non-transparent manner only confirms the need to hold an extra-ordinary congress to review FINA Constitution and Bylaws. If there is a loophole in the current bylaws that allow the executive committee to control what the members see or don't see, then perhaps more changes are needed. Now, if only these changes can get through the executive committee.
* This issue was still in development at press time. Breaking news will be posted at SwimmingWorld.com regarding this proposed legislation.
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August 2010 Issue
Contents of The August issue:
8 FROM SIBERIA TO BEST IN THE U.S. by Jeff Commings
Vladimir Morozov left the Arctic elements of Siberia three years ago for Southern California, where he has become the fastest high school swimmer in the country and Swimming World's Male High School Swimmer of the Year.
12 CONTINUING GREATNESS by Jason Marsteller
Dagny Knutson becomes only the fifth female to win back-to-back titles as Swimming World's Female High School Swimmer of the Year.
15 A DUAL STAR by John Lohn
She's an international open water champion who also has competed in the pool at the World Championships. It stands to reason that the USA's Chloe Sutton could excel in both disciplines come the London Olympics in 2012.
18 LOOKING FOR NEW CHALLENGES by Emily Sampl
Paul Robinson, a successful triathlete and open water swimmer, hopes to cross the English Channel next summer.
6 A VOICE for the SPORT
36 FOR THE RECORD
46 PARTING SHOT
In the Swimming Technique portion of the magazine you will find the following:
24 Q&A WITH COACH DAN GELDERLOOS, CALVIN COLLEGE by Michael J. Stott
26 HOW THEY TRAIN: Emily Roberts and Maggie Vail by Michael J. Stott
27 GOAL-ORIENTED by Michael J. Stott
Goal setting is essential to team leadership, direction, tradition, hopes and dreams.
30 THE SCIENCE OF PERFORMANCE: How to Prevent Shoulder Pain
by G. John Mullen
In the SWIM portion of the magazine you will find the following:
20 THE POOL'S EDGE: Kick It Up! by Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen
To be a really good swimmer, you must also have a really strong, fast, sustainable kick.
21 LANE LEADERS: Traci Granger by Emily Sampl
22 WORKOUT CARD: Training with Davis Aquatic Masters by Stu Kahn
In the Junior Swimmer portion of the magazine you will find the following:
33 NATIONAL AGE GROUP RECORD SETTER:
Jared Markham, Greenwood Tiger Sharks (Colo.)
34 AMERICAN RELAY by Judy Jacob
35 TYR AGE GROUP SWIMMER OF THE MONTH:
Alex Liang, Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (Calif.)
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