John Betrand, Aussie Swim President, Weighs In On Coates: Will He Say The Same Of FINA?

A new start - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Swimming Australia president John Betrand has hinted at a shift in attitude at the helm of the organisation when it comes to the jobs-for-life culture more than alive and kicking in international sports governance. In the wake of a challenge to John Coates’ 26-year leadership of the Australian Olympic Committee from Hockeyroos Olympic champion Danielle Roche, Betrand writes in The Australian today that neither his nation nor the Olympic Movement should fear change. Comment: Betrand makes a good point but will he extend that to the world of FINA, where he also has two votes and a say that could make a difference

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To answer the title question; Swimming AUS will NOT dare to be the spearhead of any such move but would sign onto any such move which has the backing of the US plus at least one other major player (UK & one of the Western Euros).

In all honesty, Bertrand and co’s focus is likely to remain as far as possible on their own survival. The public $$$ is only going to get tighter and with their “fairy godmother” being who she is, keeping her onside is likely to require the brand of grovelling one would only see during an audit from the Tax Office.

Unseating Coates ? The “its time for generational change” certainly has cogency and the Australian Olympic Committee certainly has its own issues to deal with.

Continuing to sign off on bloated Olympic teams of 400+ when it is already clear than the days of plenty are over and its now a time of “diminishing returns” does hint at significant myopia. Furthermore, this week’s announcement of Team GB already securing pre-Games facilities in Japan hints that AOC would appear somewhat ‘asleep at the wheel’ in comparison.

The AOC is very fast to point out the sins (often genuine ones at that) of other AUS sporting orgs come post Olympic post-mortems and funding issues but perhaps should face questions as to when/where are THEY going to start making some institutional investments in AUS sports ? They did so at the end of the 90s with the establishment of the Olympic Winter Institute which has paid marked dividends since but what about summer sports ?

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