Our athletes are the reason for the LSC’s existence. We need athletes to help make decisions on the future of the LSC. We currently have 4 athlete representatives that serve on our Board of Directors. We have a few athletes that serve on some committees, but we need a lot more. Please watch this space for more information for athletes.
Western Zone Athlete Newsletters
Below is report submitted by one of our athlete representatives at the US Aquatics Sports Convention held in Atlanta, Georgia this year.
USAS Convention Report
Submitted by Maria D.
- Athlete Meetings: There were about 3 athlete meetings daily, each meeting at 2.5 hours or more. Topics discussed included Athlete Representation, Recruiting Athletes for Committees, Robert’s Rules, Social Media, Safe Sport, and new USA Swimming rules and regulations.
- Athlete Representation: Other LSC’s have a uniformed way of selecting their athlete representatives. Many use an application process, and the representatives are blindly chosen by those currently in the position. Out of the various LSCs represented at convention, most had an average of 4 athlete representatives, with one designated Senior Representative and the rest as Junior Representatives.
- 20% Rule: To align with the USA Swimming 20% Athlete Representation rule, other LSCs designate at least one athlete to each committee. Some LSCs(Montana) will not start their LSC Board Meetings without at least one athlete present. On the other side of the spectrum, others(Hawaii) are completely underrepresented, with their Board holding a meeting and vote without telling the athlete representatives until after the motion at hand was passed.
- Board of Directors meetings: It was suggested by the Athlete Executive Committee to have the LSC hold a meeting during a championship meet to allow for greater athlete representation.
- Recruiting Athletes for Committees: Some LSCs, for example, Arizona, have implemented an athlete rep training program to educate their athletes on the governance part of swimming so their reps don’t go into the position blind not knowing what their job entitles. Additionally, they have started a separate Athlete Governance Committee, which meets about 4 times a year and is made up of just athletes with the Senior Rep acting as its Executive Chair. This committee discusses rules and regs as well as other issues and reports back to the general LSC Board to provide athlete insight into decisions. Athletes for this committee are recruited on a team athlete delegate system, with most teams in the LSC sending at least one representative.
- Team Athlete Representatives: Many LSCs make it a requirement for each team to have at least one athlete representative to be receiving LSC information so all swimmers find out what is happening within their respective LSC.
- These team representatives are typically among those chosen and recruited for committees.
- Robert’s Rules: A workshop discussing and teaching Robert’s Rules was held for the athletes. After attending this workshop and sitting in the House of Delegates and Western Zone meetings, I realized many of the adults across LSCs don’t know how to properly use them. Given this, I suggest we teach our people how to properly present themselves using Robert’s Rules.
- Social Media: A good 90% of the LSCs in attendance have Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages to send out information to their community. Although they have an official LSC website, they recognized that many don’t check it regularly and that was their reason for publishing the same information posted there on their social media accounts. While the freedom of commenting and language exists, giving opportunity for inappropriate comments, all the LSCs I spoke with along with the Athletes Executive Committee told me that there have been no issues with inappropriate responses to posts. I was also told that in the case of an event like that, immediately the procedure undertaken would be to delete the comment, report the user to the social media website, and block the user from their page. With this in mind, I believe San Diego should join the digital age and start social media accounts in addition to our website to relay information.
- Safe Sport: It was stressed at the athlete meetings that safe sport is an important issue that the swimmer community needs to be educated on, as most don’t know what it is and why it matters. I spoke to the athlete representative on the USA Swimming National Safe Sport Committee and he said he would send me information on how to do so.
- New USA Swimming Rules and Regulations: At the athlete meetings, the changes that were voted on were discussed in detail before the vote, giving proper education to the athletes before voting. Now that they are in place, I believe it is our responsibility to convey the changes to our athlete community so they are aware on what is going on in their sport.
- Practices: Practices were held at Georgia Tech University, the facility used for the 1996 Olympic Games. Swimmers were self-divided into four groups: National Team workout, training, technique, and workout from home club coaches. I swam with the technique group, and was taught new drills that will be beneficial not just for me but for my club.
- Athlete Social Events: The athletes met up after meetings in the Athlete Lounge provided. From there, athletes made friends and interacted with each other, making dinner and outing plans throughout the week with groups of 20+ athletes. An athlete bowling event was coordinated by the Athletes Executive Committee, and many were in attendance. Those who were not had a “get to know you” bonding event in the athlete lounge with pizza and beverages.
Summary: Overall, I had a great time at convention. I learned a lot, made new friends and valuable contacts in the world of swimming. I would love to represent San Diego next year in Dallas to learn more about how to further our sport and our LSC. There is a lot of knowledge out there and coming out of convention I believe it is my duty to convey this information to our swimmers, as well as learn as much as I can to benefit San Diego Imperial Swimming.