WADC 2014

The 2nd World Aquatic Development Conference was held in Lund, Sweden, from January 9-12, 2014.

Organised by the Swedish Center for Aquatic Research, the conference brought together a team of speakers, including Olympic podium placers, coaches and leading lights from the academic world.

On their minds were questions at the heart of ethics in the sport, such as:

  • Which direction should swimming be swimming in to ensure the best and safest possible environment for young athletes to develop best-possible skills in?
  • And how do we take best-possible care in a never-ending pursuit of speed?

The answers were both uncomfortable and inspiring.

As moderator at the event, Craig Lord, Editor of SwimVortex.com, had the privilege of a ring-side seat among the hundreds of coaches from 18 countries who came to listen and learn, both from the competitive track of the conference and in the learn-to-swim lane.


Over the coming weeks, we will take a look at the contributions of Allison Wagner, Caitlin Leverenz and Dana Vollmer, of Dr Fiona McLachlan and Prof. Joan Duda, before we turn to the work of Milt Nelms, the water whisperer who works with Vollmer, Leverenz and Co, Patrick Miley and others bent on the betterment of swimming.

All related articles will appear in this special as a resource for those who seek to improve, to find a better way and to join the discussion that flows from such questions as:

  • what is swimming – and how do we know?
  • does the sport empower coaches in a way that promotes sustained engagement and healthy participation in swimming?
  • are you the best coach, guide and guardian you could be?
  • what do you need to know if you coach women?
  • what can you learn from your own body to take the next step to speed?

Watch for more articles. We started with the stage-setter at the conference, from Dr McLachlan, of the University of Victoria’s Institute for Sport, Exercise and Active Living. She asks: How To Be Good? Next came Dana Vollmer and Caitlin Leverenz, with insight into the work of women and what works if you have winning in mind, followed by the things that blighted the career of Allison Wagner and a look at Vollmer’s early years and why lessons learned when she made the national team in the US were followed by a back-to-basics move to harness speed and potential