Following unanimous approval by the FINA Bureau, meeting online on Monday October 11, FINA has published details of the reform recommendations that it expects will drive progress in the vital areas of governance, communication, marketing, events, digital, safeguarding, medical, gender equity and sport development.
The recommendations are at the heart of a report from FINA’s Reform Committee, which has now been circulated to FINA National Member Federations in anticipation of the December 18 FINA Extraordinary Congress in Abu Dhabi (UAE).
“I committed to reform as a central theme of my election. And I am very happy in the way we have been able to bring together an expert team to help shape this reform. It’s critical for any organisation to have the right foundations. Thanks to work of the Reform Committee, the changes we are submitting to the National Federations are very positive and ensure that our future success will be built to last,” said FINA President Captain Husain Al-Musallam.
FINA, upon approval of the Congress, will take a significant step forward in many of the areas covered in the FINA Reform Committee report with the creation of an Aquatics Integrity Unit. The move will be consistent with FINA’s commitment to reinforcing the fight against doping while also taking action to prevent competition manipulation, ensure high standards of ethical behaviour and safeguard the wellbeing of all involved in the sport. Based on the timetable contained in the FINA Reform Committee’s report, the Aquatics Integrity Unit would be approved in principle in December 2021. Board members would then be elected and rules adopted at FINA’s General Congress of May 2022 in Fukuoka. The Unit would become operational as of 1 June 2022.
“Aquatics athletes and those who support them deserve the very best in terms of integrity protections, whether for anti-doping, competition manipulation, harassment, abuse or other ethical violations. That is exactly what FINA is determined to put in place,” said FINA Executive Director Brent Nowicki. “The proposal to create an Aquatics Integrity Unit is a clear sign of FINA’s determination to prioritise the protection and wellbeing of aquatics sport participants.”
Further recommendations include a strong emphasis on telling the stories of aquatics athletes via FINA’s communications and throughout FINA’s events, with athlete support through prize money also key.
FINA will also look to deliver more value to the sport and to its partners in future commercial relationships, while transforming the way it uses digital technology to bring the sport to fans. Restructuring FINA will also enable the organisation to react more nimbly to shifts and trends in technology.
“Aquatics sports hold so much promise for so many. It is FINA’s duty to deliver on that promise”, continued President Al-Musallam. “Our sport has a unique power to both change lives and also save lives. But we can only harness this power if we have an organisation that is fit for purpose and fit for the future. I have no doubt that the recommendations we have established with the help of leading minds will set us on the path to success.”
For a copy of the report, please see attached.