Australian Swimming League’s “Big Splash” Plans Unveiled On Eve Of Tokyo Olympics

ISL: Emma McKeon
BIG SPLASH: The Australian Swimming League to kick start in 2022.

Australian Swimming League’s “Big Splash” Plans Unveiled On Eve Of Tokyo Olympics

A hugely successful T20 “Big Bash” cricket league is about to have company with the launch today of what could become Australian sport’s “Big Splash” – an Australian professional swimming league.

With the countdown on for Tokyo 2020 and just 24 hours after the 35-strong Olympic pool team arrived into the Olympic city, Swimming Australia has announced a strategic partnership with an independent group called the Australian Swimming League (ASL) to establish and operate a new, innovative  professional club-based National competition due to kick-start towards the end of 2022.

It follows the successful International Swimming League (ISL), which will enter its third season in September in Naples – which has seen the majority of Australia’s Olympic team – including Cate Campbell and Bronte Campbell, Emily Seebohm, Emma McKeon and Kyle Chalmers  in action for international teams.

The ASL will provide the cream of Australia’s swimmers and the next wave of young talent with the opportunity to compete head-to-head in an annual made for television elite competition.

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It aims to deliver a fresh, exciting, and engaging entertainment product for fans both in attendance and watching at home.

CEO of the ASL is Stuart Coventry, who spent seven years at the helm of the successful Big Bash Franchaise the 2018/19 champions the Melbourne Renegades, and more recently acted as the Chief Operating Officer and acting CEO of Basketball Australia.

(The Melbourne Renegades is a sporting Club combining Men’s and Women’s teams participating in the KFC T20 Big Bash League Cricket competition in Australia. The Big Bash League is one of Australia’s most successful start-up sporting competitions ever. Delivered record Commercial Revenue, Attendances, Membership, Merchandise, Broadcast Ratings and Social/Digital reach.)

Coventry said the ASL is thrilled to be partnering with Swimming Australia to establish and operate this new professional swimming league.

“The ASL will be swimming but not as you know it! It will be an exciting format that delivers a fast-paced event program that pits individuals and teams against one another in an elite competition with plenty of action in and out of the water,” Coventry said.

“This competition will capture the imagination of a diverse audience through our fast-paced, action-packed, highly entertaining and family focused product. We look forward to sharing more details about the league over the coming months ahead of the inaugural series commencing in Summer 2022.” 

ASL is planning to run an initial ‘opening night’ event in October 2021 to kick off this new innovative format with event details to be announced in due course.

On announcing the partnership, Swimming Australia CEO Alex Baumann said: “Swimming is an integral part of Australian culture and leading recreational activity, not to mention the success our Olympic and Paralympic athletes have achieved in the sport.

“For generations, Australian swimmers have been some of the best in the world and are household names both at home and abroad. Outside of major international events, it is important for Swimming Australia to create a high-profile domestic platform to showcase our current and future stars which also supports our vision of delivering greater opportunities for Australia’s leading athletes.

“We are delighted to be working with the ASL to establish an annual, made for broadcast league, that will provide high level competition for our swimmers, while entertaining a broad audience in a way which excites and inspires.”

The ASL will be a club-based competition under a license model where each team will be represented by a set number of swimmers, split evenly between male and female athletes including multi-class and juniors. To ensure close competition, the ASL will feature an annual draft that delivers an equal spread of talent across the league.

The ASL will take place over several weeks at venue(s) across Australia involving a set amount of competition days and featuring a bumper event program showcasing all strokes.

Swimming Australia National Head Coach Rohan Taylor said: “The ASL is absolutely fantastic news for Australian swimming. From a coaching perspective, an annual professional league will offer regular elite competition to drive performance outcomes and provide a vital opportunity for Australia’s best emerging talent to compete against our finest swimmers.

“With prize money on the line as part of this new professional league, I anticipate every round will be hotly contested and will offer viewers action packed racing where the level of competition will see Australian swimming go to new heights.”

ASL is privately owned and will run the competition with the support of Swimming Australia.

1 comment

  1. avatar
    john m.razi

    dear oz swimming committee
    i would like to suggest in 4x200fs women relay kindly put Arianne titmus in last leg coz her swim was superb,

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