Swimming Australia issues grovelling apology to female swimmers after scathing probe: Bans bizarre skin-fold tests and all-male coaching squads
- Swimming Australia announced changes following independent review
- All-male elite coaching teams will be banned as will skin-fold tests
- Olympic swimmer Maddie Groves prompted review after pulling out of Tokyo
- She withdrew from trials, claiming there was a misogynist culture in swimming
Swimming Australia will never again have an all-male elite coaching team and will ban skin-fold tests in the wake of a review into the sport’s abusive culture.
The independent review heard submissions from more than 150 people involved in the sport including swimmers, coaches and administrators.
While the final report will remain secret to protect the anonymity of those involved, the review’s 46 wide-ranging recommendations were released on Friday.
They include banning skin-fold tests and introducing quotas for women coaches on national and international teams.
Other recommendations include SA prioritising behavioural standards over a coach’s performance standards, placing athlete welfare as the primary driver of coach selection.
Swimming Australia will never again have an all-male elite coaching team and will ban skin-fold tests in the wake of a review into the sport’s abusive culture (pictured is swimmer Maddie Groves who withdrew from selection trials for last year’s Tokyo Games citing a misogynist culture in swimming)
SA president Kieren Perkins said the organisation was committed to acting on the recommendations.
‘We can’t afford to let any of this drift,’ Perkins told AAP.
‘It has got to be a concerted effort right from the get-go.
‘We are going to deliver on all of them (the recommendations).
‘The reality is that in the process of delivery there will be some things quick and easy to do and other things are going to take a lot of serious, transformational cultural change to deliver on.
‘That will require a lot of time and effort.
‘We need to recognise that you don’t just click your fingers and shift the culture of an environment.’
The review was triggered by dual Olympic medallist Maddie Groves, who withdrew from selection trials for last year’s Tokyo Games citing a misogynist culture in swimming.
SA president Kieren Perkins said the organisation was committed to acting on the recommendations
Groves’ comments prompted other swimmers to come forward with claims of abuse.
SA, in a statement accompanying the report’s recommendations, again apologised.
‘The feedback was open and frank and there were experiences recounted that were difficult to read,’ the SA statement said.
‘Swimming Australia wants to reassure those who came forward that the sport is committed to change to ensure these negative experiences are not repeated and apologises unreservedly to those impacted.
‘It is acknowledged that, particularly for young female athletes, some of their experiences have had longer-term impacts.
‘Swimming Australia again unreservedly apologises to those members of the swimming community who have had a negative experience.’
Swimming Australia made the changes following an independent review featuring submissions from more than 150 people involved in the sport (pictured Aussie Olympic champs Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell)
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