Swimming Victoria, home to the likes of World Championship athletes Mack Horton, Koti Ngawati and Josh Beaver, will soon see a new President appointed, as incumbent Paul Malcolm has announced his departure. Malcolm, who has been in the Swimming Victoria President position since 2014, will be leaving to take on a national role of General Manager of Participation and Sport Development at Swimming Australia.
In his most recent Presidential blog, Malcolm reviewed changes he helped initiate while in his leadership role. “We have made changes. Not everyone has liked them, but we have stood by them and are seeing the results. Membership numbers are up. We have real ambition and we see big things ahead,” he writes.
A controversial decision implemented while in charge was Swimming Victoria’s prohibiting the use of technical/performance suits for athletes 11 years of age and under. The purpose of the ban, according to SV, is to encourage young swimmers to stay in the sport, and allow more of a focus on confidence and building technique among young swimmers.
Malcolm’s blog post also states that Swimming Victoria has ‘worked to change swimming’s reputation. It has long been regarded as an inconvenient sport where to be a competitive swimmer meant long hours training each week – and for what, a career that could be finished by your late teens? We thought that was crazy and we set about changing that mindset.’
The organization has thus been working with coaches to implement modern training methods and striving for a more balanced swim/life balance to help see people remain in the pool until their mid-20s and beyond. Says Malcolm, “We have been working to make Victorian swimming not only a force at the elite level, but also affordable and, importantly, a bit more fun.”
On the affordability point, we reported how the Board of Swimming Victoria announced that spectator fees for all Swimming Victoria events, including the 2017 Victorian Age Championships, had been eliminated for the 2017-18 season. At the time of the decision, Malcolm said “We’re committed to help families manage the cost of swimming and encouraging parents and friends to stay involved in the sport. And with it costing up to $72 for two parents to see their child compete at the Victorian Age Championships, we understand that can be a barrier.”
Back in January of this year, Rohan Taylor, Coaching Director of Australia’s Nunawading Swimming Club, was announced as the new State Head Coach for Victoria and Tasmania. Most recently, the Performance and Development Squads for Swimming Victoria were announced.
We will report on Malcolm’s replacement as soon as the information is available.