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Changes to British Masters swimming governance

A number of changes have occurred recently in how British Masters is governed, particularly in British Swimming that has been implemented with the support of the Home Countries and it is important that these changes are communicated as widely as possible to Masters and the Swimming community.

The Home Country Swimming Associations (Swim Wales, Scottish Swimming and Swim England), in conjunction with British Swimming, agreed to establish a Home Country Masters Group (“the Group”) whose representatives have a deep knowledge of Masters Swimming from within their own Masters community.

As part of the Group it was fundamental to ensure that there is a clear and regular link with British Swimming. To ensure this linkage, one of the British Swimming Board members (Ray Gordon) has been appointed by the Board to act as the Board liaison with the Group.

The decision to adopt this new approach to Masters Swimming is designed to enable clear and open communication for all of the Group’s stakeholders. As part of the process, Verity Dobbie was selected to lead and Chair the Group. The new approach is widely viewed to be positive and appears to be working well with the initial outcomes from the new Masters structure proving highly successful through the Home Countries and particularly Scotland’s delivery of the recent British Masters event in Aberdeen.

In future, whilst the delivery of competitions will be managed by the Home Countries, British Swimming will continue to ensure that a British voice is represented in the International arena in both Europe (LEN) and at the World (FINA) level.

As part of the new approach, British Swimming invited Verity Dobbie to join British Swimming at the FINA Masters Technical Congress in Budapest where new rules were approved for Masters Swimming.

British Swimming is in a strong position in Europe as the Chairman of the LEN Masters Committee is British and we remain hopeful that we will have a representative on the FINA Masters Committee in the future. However, these positions are highly sought after with over 200 nations worldwide engaged in swimming and together with the time that is required to develop individuals for committee positions at European and World level, you can appreciate how challenging it is to achieve such representation.

British Swimming will continue to promote its international influence in Masters, in consultation with the Home Countries through the Group, including training and promoting suitable individual candidates for future international representation. There is an added challenge to Masters Swimming in that there is no external funding available at the moment for these international roles, so the sport has to identify internal resource investment.

Masters Swimming is an important area for all the Home Countries and British Swimming as we are all committed to increasing the number of people who swim regularly and we all welcome your input into this objective. Please feel free to contact your Home Country with any thoughts you may have in this regard.

British Swimming and the Home Countries enjoy robust governance, financial and control frameworks having all been subject to external independent audit. Similarly, we all have strong values in the field of diversity and equality but we are not complacent and continue to work hard to improve and listen to constructive criticism from our members and partners.

  • Ian Mason, British Swimming Chief Operating Officer
  • Jane Nickerson, Swim England Chief Executive Officer
  • Forbes Dunlop, Scottish Swimming Chief Executive Officer
  • Fergus Feeney, Swim Wales Chief Executive Officer