Swimming Australia President John Bertrand Calls Time As Dolphins Receive Added Financial Support

Gina & John
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Out-going Swimming Australia president John Bertrand with Patron Gina Rinehart and the Australian Dolphins Swim Team. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Swimming Australia President John Bertrand Calls Time On His Seven-Year Term As Dolphins Receive Added Financial Support

 Out-going Swimming Australia president John Bertrand AO has delivered a stirring message to the swimming community on his departure after seven years at the helm, urging people to continue to “fly higher, further and faster.”

John Bertrand

SEVEN-YEARS AT THE HELM: Swimming Australia president and champion yachtsman John Bertrand AM calls time on the top job. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Bertrand’s reign as president comes with the news that the sport’s major sponsor Hancock Prospecting is moving away from the direct sponsorship of Swimming Australia from the end of 2020.

But Hancock Prospecting will not be lost to the sport, announcing an increase in its direct support to Australian swimmers by way of the Hancock Prospecting Swimmers Support Scheme including a $132,000 incentive for swimmers and coaches at next month’s Hancock Prospecting Virtual Short Course Grand Prix. (See Details Below).

Bertrand praised the mining giant’s Chairman and Swimming Australia Patron Gina Rinehart’s support saying it has been a game changer for swimming, “helping us transform the sport after London when we were in need of a resurgence.”

Bertrand, who has walked hand-in-hand with Hancock Prospecting’s financial injection said: “It has been a real honour for me to have led Swimming Australia over the last 7 years. I am proud to have made a contribution to such an iconic sport.

“Hopefully my legacy has been for our people to reach beyond what is considered best practice. But instead to fly higher, further, faster.”

The America’s Cup winning skipper and Olympic bronze medallist joined the organisation following the 2012 London Olympics and has worked tirelessly since that time to grow the sport at home and abroad, advocating support for its athletes.

Bertrand will officially finish his term at today’s AGM with the 20th President of Swimming Australia to be confirmed following the November Board meeting.

Inclusions for the new-look Swimming Australia board and the announcement of Life Members will also be announced following the SAL AGM Zoom meeting.

Swimming Australia CEO Leigh Russell has paid tribute to her outgoing president saying: “It takes great commitment, passion and care to take on the job of President in a sporting organisation and can often be a thankless task.

“John fervently stepped into the role in the midst of many changes and uncertainty and embraced everything that came his way with such enthusiasm.

“His quest for constant improvement and eagerness to always look outside the box is one of his greatest traits.

“You could say that his eternal search for the next ‘winged keel’ has been weaved into all that he has done and achieved at Swimming Australia.”

Russell also thanked Bertrand for his leadership and passion throughout his tenure as President.

“I think many would agree that John is possibly Australia’s most patriotic sporting President and we thank him for the leadership he brought to the organisation,” she said.

“We also thank his wonderful wife Rasa – as with any role in sport, volunteer or otherwise, it’s also about the people behind the people and we have relished having Rasa as part of our swimming family.

“I speak for everyone at Swimming Australia when I say, we wish John all the best in whatever comes next for him and we look forward to seeing him cheering loudly in the stands at our next quest for gold.”

INCREASED ATHLETE SUPPORT FUNDING

 Hancock Prospecting’s increased support funding will have three pools, each offering a significant and distinct benefit to swimmers, as they prepare for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

Patron’s Tokyo Enhancement Payment: Each categorised swimmer will receive a one off bonus payment, in addition to their quarterly Hancock Prospecting Swimmers Support Scheme payments, to further incentivise training and preparation.

Hancock Prospecting Virtual Prize Money Pool; A one off prize pool of $132,000 for swimmers and coaches at the Virtual Inter-State Grand Prix (November 27-29) replacing the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships. A total prize pool of up to $100,000 will be available for athletes, while coaches can earn a share of up to $32,000.

Olympic Program Athletes: Prize money will be awarded for athletes who finish First ($1200), Second ($750) and Third ($500) in Olympic events (excluding relays).

– Para Program Athletes: Prize money will be awarded for athletes who finish First ($700), Second ($400) and Third ($200) based on Multi Class Point Score in Paralympic Events (excluding relays).

Hancock Prospecting Quarterly Swimmers Support Scheme Payments Extended – due to benchmark events not being completed until the end of September 2021, rather than the funding cycle ending on June 30 like other years, payments are guaranteed until 30 September 2021 giving athletes funding certainty during their peak competition period.

 

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