Swimming New Zealand Lie Without Shame

Swimming New Zealand has just posted news of a new sponsorship deal. That is good news. We all should welcome the initiative and the work that has gone into obtaining fresh financial support. Here is how the Swimming New Zealand announced the event.

Swimming New Zealand and Aon New Zealand are proud to announce Aon NZ will join the organisation as the principal sponsor of the National Age Group and New Zealand Open Championships for two years.

The announcement comes following the growth of participating swimmers entering both championships every year.

Swimming New Zealand chief executive Steve Johns says he’s delighted to have Aon join the swimming family in what is an exciting time for the sport.

The announcement sounded wrong. I’ve been going to National Championships since 1989. I don’t keep a record of the entries but my impression is that the Championships are not as big today as they used to be. But we all know that impressions can be deceptive. Perhaps Steve Johns is right. Perhaps “participating swimmers entering both championships every year” have in fact grown. After all swimming New Zealand should know; they have access to all the entry numbers.

For an outside observer it is difficult to check the number of entries. The only way I could think of testing the truth of the Swimming New Zealand claim was by going to the “Take Your Marks” website and laboriously counting the number of entries in each event.

As you can imagine it is a tedious task; so tedious that I decided to limit my analysis to last year, 2017, and five years ago, 2012. After all if Swimming New Zealand were right, there should be dozens more swimmers in 2017 than in 2012. The table below shows what I found.

Entries 2012 2017 No. Drop % Drop
Number 997 767 230 23%

It really does beat me. Why can’t Swimming New Zealand tell the truth? Why do they have to lie all the time. I am sure Aon NZ will be delighted to learn that their sponsorship is based on a lie. Swimming New Zealand lying to us is bad enough but did they lie to Aon in negotiating the sponsorship deal. My guess is they did.

Their behaviour is true to form. It is the way they behave. In a recent post discussing the decision to keep the Swimming New Zealand training squad I used a quote by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

That may have seemed a little harsh. But a few days later Swimming New Zealand described a 23% drop in National Championship entries as a “growth of participating swimmers entering every year.” The organization just shamelessly lies and they don’t care.

Swimming New Zealand has much in common with the current American President. Their relationship to the truth is very distant. They both could learn much from the first American President George Washington who is reported to have said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”

The thing I continue to find stunningly amazing is that the Chairman, Bruce Cotterill, sells himself as a public speaker on good corporate behaviour. You would think he would make sure those in his own backyard at least told the truth. To preach good corporate conduct when those working for you tell bald faced lies seems to me to make your words a sham. What a bloody disgrace.

Now what was the Aon email address again?

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