Archive for August, 2018

Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

 There is much that goes on in Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) that I do not understand. Recent public babbling by Steve Johns certainly falls into that category. In Saturday’s NZ Herald Johns is reported as naming thirteen swimmers who SNZ has decided are the targeted elite; the chosen few, the anointed ones. Their names are Emma Robinson, Tyron Henry, Michael Pickett, Lewis Clareburt, Gabrielle Fa’amausili, Corey Main, Alex Galyer, Bradlee Ashby, Daniel Hunter, Matt Stanley, Zac Reid, Mya Rasmussen and Luan Grobbelaar.

For reasons I have written about many times I do not agree with these lists. They did not work when Jan Cameron was the author and they won’t work now. The fact that Cameron dragged everyone on the list up to Auckland and Francis is leaving them to train at home is irrelevant. Geography does not change the flaws inherent in this elitist selection process. The fact that some Loader or Snell or Jeffs or Halberg is going to be missed by Francis and is going to say, “SNZ think I’m no good. I think I’ll go and play waterpolo.” – that’s the real crime here. The real criminality is the unearned elitism lists foster in those chosen and the despair they cause in the 5,647 swimmers that miss the cut. And that’s the same whether the list is being prepared by Jan Cameron or Gary Francis.

Never forget that SNZ still operates and pays for their centralised programme in Auckland. It is costing a fortune and it is not working. It would take a lot of persuasion to convince me that Johns and Francis are not just as predatory as Jan Cameron. They will be more devious than Jan but just as lethal. All coaches in New Zealand should exercise great caution when discussing their swimmers with Johns or Francis. It would be wise to assume they were on the lookout for talent to bolster their failing Auckland programme. They would think nothing of sending a swimmer from your team to their Auckland squad. In fact they would proudly tell the world about the swimmer’s new and “better environment”.

Don’t be taken in by their soft talk. Remember it was Francis who told the NZ Herald that it would take New Zealand coaches six years to reach acceptable international coaching standards. How a club age-group coach, like Francis, would know that, I have no idea. Remember also that for ten years SNZ had free reign and millions of dollars to coach the best swimmers in the country and just look at the results; a team of two domestically trained pool swimmers at the Pan Pacific Games and no medals – brilliant.

It’s off the subject but did you see the SNZ Facebook page described the two domestically trained swimmers and no medals result as, “Congratulations to our pool athletes on a great #PanPacs2018.” Bloody funny idea of “great”. What are they going to say if someone, one day wins a race?

But a statistic even more instructive is revealed in the published Francis-targeted list. Of the 13 names that Francis told the NZ Herald are New Zealand’s best swimmers only four are training and swimming in New Zealand. That’s what SNZ have brought us to. That’s the measure of the Francis and Johns’ programme. Nine of New Zealand’s best swimmers (70%) live and train overseas; more than twice the number living and training in New Zealand. Take a bow Francis and Johns. Take a bow the SNZ Board. The destruction under your watch is truly stunning. I have included the South African, Luan Grobbelaar, as an overseas swimmer.

But the greatest puzzle of all is the swimmers not included on the Francis’ targeted list given to the NZ Herald. Just a few months ago SNZ selected a team to go to the Commonwealth Games. At the time Steve Johns was brimming with confidence. He said “Swimming NZ is delighted with the team that has been announced. We are confident in the swimmers who have been selected and know that they are up for the challenge.”

Well if that’s right and SNZ chose New Zealand’s best swimmers to compete in the Commonwealth Games could Johns please explain to me why six months later a majority of the able-bodied team, sent to the Commonwealth Games, can’t even get onto the Francis targeted list; so much for Johns’ judgement. That’s right seven of the twelve 2018 Commonwealth Games team are not included in the Francis list of targeted swimmers. The swimmers were good enough to be picked when SNZ needed names to pad out a desperately small team of two qualifiers but, six months later, are not good enough to make the published Francis-targeted list. The swimmer’s names are Carina Doyle, Helena Gasson, Bobbi Gichard, Georgia Marris, Samuel Perry, Bronagh Ryan and Laticia-Leigh Transom.

When Gary Francis announced his new plan he told New Zealand that targeted swimmers would stay on the list for a minimum of two years. For all sorts of reasons I thought that was a ridiculous thing to say. Now I don’t even believe it is true. If Francis drops more than half the Commonwealth Games team within six months the chances of stability are zero. Given their track record I wouldn’t trust a word Johns and Francis say.

Whatever way you look at it this targeted business is a shambles. The principles behind the targeted policy, the swimmers included and the swimmers excluded – none of it makes sense. The targeted policy is wrong and will not work. SNZ will spend another eight years wasting our money as, in my opinion, a right wing autocrat called Cotterill, an uninformed bureaucrat called Johns and a club age-group coach called Francis strut around Antares Place telling us their brilliant plans. It’s Jan Cameron all over again – but worse.

A Laugh a Minute

Monday, August 27th, 2018

 You have to give credit to the Chairman of Swimming New Zealand, Bruce Cotterill. In the old days we would have called him a “bloody dag”. The tricks he gets up to are beyond belief. He clearly has a double dose of a hide like a rhinoceros and the cheek of Ned Kelly. What has he done this time you may be asking? Well he has just written an opinion piece for the Stuff news website. The title of the article is, “Wages must represent value rather than fairness”:  

In 824 words Cotterill argues that, “one of the most basic concepts of economics is that we all get paid because of the value we bring to our paymaster. This concept is the fundamental basis of most commercial sector employment relationships or contractual obligations.” Cotterill goes on to give examples of how the level of wages and the income from a business are all related to the value the employee or the value of the products produced by the business. Cotterill calls that principle, “If you don’t kill, you don’t eat,”

Then Cotterill launches into a pretty typical right wing moan. Here is what he says. “However, today’s debate surrounding minimum wages or wages in general, and the resultant cries for higher pay and more strike action, tends to overlook the importance of the value being generated. All too often such cries revolve around a need for everyone to be treated the same irrespective of performance.”

Cotterill concludes in the place occupied by every right wing capitalist since the days when children were employed in coal mines and black workers picked cotton for free. He says, “When it comes to wages, business and government can only fund what the market is prepared to pay for. And that market is looking hard for value more and more.”

There are two things I find interesting about Cotterill’s right wing rant. First, in New Zealand, it’s not true. In 2015, economists Meehan and Parham, wrote a paper on this subject. It was called, “Who benefits from productivity growth? – The labour income share in New Zealand, New Zealand Productivity Commission Working Paper 2015/1.” Their paper reached the following conclusion.

“In the New Zealand “measured sector” – which covers all industries in the primary and goods-producing sectors plus some service industries – the labour income share has fallen by 8.5 percentage points from 1978 to 2010. This indicates a tendency for capital income to grow more quickly than labour income.” Cotterill, it seems is feeding us a line of right wing bull; unsupported by facts, devoid of thought or truth. Wages for New Zealand workers have fallen 8.5% behind their productivity. The fact that Jacinda Ardern is addressing this National Party inspired rip-off is nothing but good.

Mind you, in his role as Chairman of Swimming New Zealand we have come to expect no better. As the Chairman of Swimming New Zealand we have been able to see his management prowess at work. We’ve heard the words, but does the performance match the spin? Not bloody likely is the answer to that question.

Consider the productivity of Swimming New Zealand for the eight years Cotterill has been on their Board. Here are eight indicators of the organization’s productivity.

Item 2011 2017 Change
Competitive Swimmers 6161 5,660 Down By 8.1%
Coaches 543 246 Down By 54.7%
Total Membership 25,467 19,118 Down By 24.9%
Clubs 180 165 Down By 8.3%
Government Funding 1,962,838 1,413,148 Down By 28.0%
Membership Fees 288,712 286,777 Down By 0.7%
Total Funding 4,158,493 3,546,861 Down By 14.7%
Olympic Medals 0 0 No Change
Total % Change     Down By 17.4%

It is impossible to be less productive than that. Cotterill has been quoted in the press as saying he does not understand why High Performance Sport New Zealand has reduced the government’s support of the sport. Well, to find out he should read his own Stuff article. It’s because you are not producing anything, stupid. It is unbelievable that someone can burst into print with all that management speak and can’t see its application under his nose. I’m not sure whether the problem is IQ or his right wing arrogance in his own invincibility has clouded his view of day to day reality.

So we know, at Swimming New Zealand, the productivity of the organization fell by an amazing 17.4%. I wonder what Swimming New Zealand’s wages did in the same period. According to Cotterill’s right wing rant they should have gone down by the same percentage to reflect the organizations performance. The CEO and all members of staff should be paid 17.4% less in 2018 than they were in 2011. But are they? Does Cotterill run his companies the way he talks? No of course not. His Stuff outburst is rubbish.

Information on wages is difficult to determine accurately from the published accounts. We can however make some assumptions. In the table below the annual cost in 2011 and 2018 for two broad categories of administration and education are shown. The bulk of both these cost categories is wages and so we can safely assume this is what happened to the wages costs in the period. The last line in the table shows the cost of the two senior staff members, the CEO and the CFO for the years 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately earlier Reports did not include this information.

Category 2011 2017 % Change
Administration 420,674 548,751 Up By 30.4%
Education 626,487 589,133 Down By 5.9%
Senior Staff 275,000 311,000 Up by 13.1%
Total % Change     Up by 12.5%

So there we have Cotterill’s management at work. While he was glibly writing, “If you don’t kill, you don’t eat,” a company that he actually manages had a productivity decline of 17.4% but paid a wages increase of 12.5%. I doubt there has ever been a better example of do what I say, not what I do. I’ll start believing the guy when he cuts Johns’ pay by 17.4%. That’s what he says should happen. So go on Cotterill, do it. After all it is an accurate measure of what Johns’ productivity is worth.

Swimming NZ Cons The NZ Herald

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

In Saturday’s NZ Herald, Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) got a headline. Not for their sterling performance at the Pan Pacific Games or their Gold Medals at the Commonwealth Games or even their increase in membership from the historic 2018 low of 5,660 competitive swimmers. No this was the CEO, Steve Johns, spinning fake news to Herald journalist, David Leggat. I considered three responses. I could ignore the report for the nonsense that it is. I could hurl abuse at SNZ for misleading New Zealand’s leading news outlet. Or I could take the report seriously and write a measured response that once again pointed out the policy fraud being sold by SNZ.

The first two options had huge appeal, but I settled on the third. I would explain why there is no changed approach; why this Francis exercise is smoking mirrors, froth and bubble, signifying nothing.

When the policy was first announced I was delighted. Since the Jan Cameron era I have used Swimwatch to highlight the shortcomings of centralised training. I was roundly condemned for those views. Staff at SNZ were warned it was dangerous to talk to me. And so, six months ago, when Gary Francis stopped me in the pool to explain his new plan I was delighted. Francis concluded that conversation with a request that I refrain from any Swimwatch criticism. “Give me a chance,” he said.

I did more than give him a chance. Two or three articles welcomed the “new” policy as an important swimming milestone. I was as taken in as Leggat has been on this occasion. That was all six months ago. The glow has had time to fade. The reality of the con has had time to appear. There is no new policy. All we have is the old policy dressed up in a new coat. Nothing material has changed. It is a con.

Before dealing with the specifics of the Leggat report, consider the logic of Steve Johns claims. Does anyone think for a minute that, given the autocratic nature of this administration, its Constitution, its Rules and its decisions, there is any chance of SNZ handing over real power to New Zealand’s clubs and coaches? Of course not. In 2011, using the Moller Report, Miskimmin and SNZ fought a life and death battle to wrest power away from the Regions, the Clubs and the coaches. SNZ has no interest in giving it back now. And they haven’t.

So let’s consider some of the points made in the David Leggat article.

  1. “So to continue with the centralised model and expect to get different results is the definition of insanity.”

Steve Johns needs to watch what he is saying. His bosses, the SNZ Board members, are the very people who did “continue with the centralised model and expected to get a different result”. For ten years and through two swimming generations that’s exactly what the Board of SNZ did and expected. And it was insane. But if Johns wants secure employment he should probably refrain from calling his Board members insane. Johns is right but calling Bruce Cotterill insane might not be a good idea.

  1. There are about 12 swimmers who sit in the senior group.

A key problem in the old centralised policy was the selection of a privileged few. SNZ’s chosen ones sat on elevated platforms at the National Championships, had secret meetings with the National Coach and wore special uniforms. They were above and separate from the rest of the swimming community. The divisions that caused remain today. It was this aspect of the centralised policy that Arthur Lydiard found most objectionable. As he said, Peter Snell would never have made the “senior group” list. Toni Jeffs would certainly have been excluded. The damage done by picking future winners far outweighs the benefits.

And that privileged selection quality has not changed. It is the same. As the Leggat article says, “There are about 12 swimmers who sit in the senior group”. Sadly it is a neglected swimmer in Dunedin or Nelson or Invercargill who is just as likely to win, but who the “new” policy excludes just as effectively as the old one did. Nothing has changed.

It is a small point, but why does SNZ persist in ignoring Emma Robinson. The Leggat article lists the chosen ones but fails to mention Robinson. She is a hugely good swimmer and would have been in the top eight at both the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Games. Once again it demonstrates the error of lists whether they are the old lists or the new lists they are still lists. The unearned elitism, the injustice, the bias, and the arrogance remain. Nothing has changed.

  1. “We’re looking at what is going to work best for individuals, where the best programme is for them, who is the best coach for them and what is the best environment.”

It is a pretty obvious response, but who at SNZ is qualified to determine what’s best for a swimmer and how is that in any way different from the previous policy. Already Gary Francis has admitted to being complicit in sending one of New Zealand’s best swimmers to Australia to train. The same autocratic power, that characterised the centralised training policy, is alive and well in this one. I have already warned my best swimmer to be careful when he is spoken to by anyone from SNZ. Here they are admitting that their so called “new” policy continues with the right to tell swimmers where they should be training; what’s best for them. Once again nothing has changed.

And remember this critical point. The centralised training group, that the Leggat report tells us has gone in favour of a bold new direction, is still being run and paid for by SNZ. The SNZ centralised training group is at the pool training every day just exactly as it was ten years ago under Jan Cameron. Nothing has changed.

My guess is that, what the Leggat article calls the “best environment” will all too often be the same SNZ training group as it has always been. If SNZ really meant the lies they told Leggat they would have disbanded that program. While that exists nothing has changed.              

  1. “We are very confident by 2024 of having not only really competitive swimmers but really strong coaches who know what they need to deliver.”

The stunning arrogance hasn’t changed either. SNZ don’t even realize the insult contained in that remark. What they are saying is that right now New Zealand coaches are weak and have no idea of what they need to deliver. It will take six years for New Zealand coaches to get up to speed. And that put-down has been a consistent SNZ theme for years. Nothing has changed.

It is also wrong. New Zealand is blessed with fine coaching talent. The coaches have and are being handicapped by SNZ’s policies. That hasn’t changed. But the likes of Gary Hurring, Donna Bouzaid, Jon Winter, Jeremy Duncan and a dozen others are at the top of their profession. They don’t need to be told by a club age-group coach like Gary Francis that it will take six years for them to learn how to win a swimming race. All that’s needed is for Francis and Johns to get out of the way and let them do it.

And all that is why nothing has changed. I guess the moral is before spreading SNZ’s spin all over the newspaper, journalists would be well advised to double check what they are being told. When it comes to SNZ, the source is not reliable.

The Worm Turns

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

 A week ago Swimwatch posted an article that discussed the rampant political correctness overtaking New Zealand sport. Here is the Swimwatch link to that story.

I was beginning to despair. Cycling, rowing, netball and hockey were turning themselves inside out because a few sensitive wallflowers couldn’t hack being told to shape up or ship out. The wallflowers were being aided by a clueless class of bureaucratic sports’ administrators. Typical of that breed are Steve Johns from swimming and Ian Francis from hockey. The overpaid CEO’s of New Zealand sport rush in front of television cameras to assure Peter Miskimmin that their sport would get to the bottom of some new coaching carnage. Sport after sport tried to excel at being the most concerned about the mistreatment of the wallflowers.

But this week it seems the worm has turned. Common sense has begun to return. It started with seven of New Zealand’s best hockey players writing a letter of support for their coach. Good on them. It is impossible to know what goes on behind the scenes in situations like this. But from the outside, Mark Hager, the long-time women’s hockey coach, seems like a pretty straight up and down bloke; a bit old school perhaps but that’s a coaching benefit from all I’ve seen. So, well done to the seven women who sought to give hockey back some honesty and some backbone.

Their letter was followed by a series of three articles; two in the New Zealand Herald and one in Stuff. All three made the same point Swimwatch made a week earlier. This cry of, “I’ve been bullied” was nothing but fake news and political correctness run riot.

The first article was by Mike Hosking. I have to tell you I find almost everything about that man objectionable. From his ridiculously permed hair to his hard right-wing political views he is thoroughly offensive to me. I even voted in the petition to have him thrown off the leader’s debate prior to the last General Election.

However, on this occasion, I find myself in agreement with Mike Hosking. Here is a, much summarised, version of what he said.

I am very pleased to see some sort of rear-guard action from the hockey players who don’t think Mark Hagar is an ogre.

I have refrained from saying anything due to the fact I am merely a hockey fan not an insider, but there was always a sneaking suspicion, watching the complaints of the aggrieved, that there just might be a little bit of personal softness driving the overall upset.

So it is with much relief we hear today from former players who have penned an open letter in defense of the coach.

Yes, he’s hard. Yes he’s demanding. But guess what?

This is elite sport and that’s what separates the winners from the losers.

The second New Zealand Herald article was written by Anendra Singh, the Hawke’s Bay Today sports editor. Here is some of what he said.

Are our sport coaches bullies or is it simply a case of political correctness gone mad?

The recent case of Black Sticks women’s hockey coach, Mark Hager, brings to head a rash of incidents where elite players have put their mentors under scrutiny over alleged inappropriate behavior.

Without all sides of the story, it’s difficult to ascertain culpability.

And finally Ian Anderson on the stuff website has this to say.

Culture seems to be the key word now for New Zealand sporting organizations. Winning seems to be the key determinant for funding for New Zealand sporting organizations. So what takes precedence – or can the two co-exist?

Last week’s email error from women’s Black Sticks coach Mark Hager sent Hockey New Zealand down the review road, where it could meet for coffee with Cycling NZ, Rowing NZ, Netball NZ and NZ Football.

​On the Gold Coast in April, the Black Sticks basked in a golden glow at the Commonwealth Games gold medal. None of the players at the top of the podium seemed aggrieved that Hager had overseen a breakthrough tournament win.

While no one wants their flaws exposed to others, if your coach says you’re not training hard enough, the obvious course of action would be to train harder.

NZ’s sprint cyclists won a handful of medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Since then, head sprint coach Anthony Peden stepped down from his job among complaints from athletes and staff which included bullying, drinking and an inappropriate relationship with an athlete.

It’s understood the best-performed members of the NZ track team – sprinters Eddie Dawkins and Sam Webster, the country’s most prolific medal-winners on a bike – had no issues with Peden.

Athletes rightly require an avenue to voice their concerns over mistreatment and bullying, as does every employee – the relationship between coach and sportsperson cannot be a fully dictatorial one.

Yet the line between being in charge and being a bully in cajoling sporting endeavors may not be easily determined by those athletes in a high-pressure environment.

I am all too aware of what’s it is like to be wrongly accused. I am all too aware of what it is like to be denied common justice by a National Federation. I know swimming has treated coaches like dirt for ten years. I am in the middle of just such a case. The sort of people we have running swimming would throw their grandmother under a bus if it furthered their bloated lifestyle. There is no justice in the decisions they make, no decency, no standard of right and wrong; just a vacant void of self-interest and greed. But the problem is wider than me. These people who are denying providing access to my investigator’s report, who breach the sport’s Code of Conduct and who deny me any semblance of natural justice, would do the same to you.

From this very personal perspective I am delighted the worm in sport is beginning to turn. I am pleased some commentators and good athletes have had the courage and common sense to take a stand on behalf of the good men and women who have coached New Zealand sport.

Saudi Swimming – A Litany of Disaster

Friday, August 24th, 2018

 Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) should look closely at Saudi Arabia swimming. That is where the policies being followed by SNZ are leading. Take a look New Zealand. Perceive the future. Why? Because, in my opinion, the problems present in the Saudi Kingdom have been caused by a New Zealander, pursuing typical SNZ policies.

My only satisfaction is that in the year I spent in Saudi Arabia I told them this is the ruin their disastrous policies would cause. The day I left to return to New Zealand I emailed the President and the CEO of the Saudi Federation a 5000 word report on reforms I thought were desperately needed. Here are the recommendations I made at the end of that report.

Recommendation One – Continue to promote Sibaha learn to swim.
The program is good but should be simplified in order to allow more independent schools to become Sibaha compliant. The policy should aim to spread the Sibaha initiative and not make it so exclusive that no one can qualify.
Recommendation Two – Abandon the SASF involvement in direct learn to swim and focus on promoting independent Sibaha compliant swim schools.
The SASF is best involved in promoting and policing the business of swimming. Independent private contractors can be responsible for day to day operations. By focusing on and lifting the standards of private operators the SASF will be more effective.
Recommendation Three – Abolish short term foreign coaching and foreign training camps
KSA swimming must be run by KSA people. Bringing in a foreigner once a year is not going to do that. The function required is to turn KSA based coaches into international coaches capable of high performance coaching.
Recommendation Four – Appoint a Head Coach with a new role
Appoint a coach with responsibility to coach KSA coaches – to improve the coaching environment and performance and to tutor KSA coaches in the importance of a 40/20/40 aerobic, anaerobic and speed training balance
Recommendation Five – Change amount of work
Introduce minimum weekly training distances and introduce penalties for non-compliance and rewards for compliance.
Recommendation Six – More competition
Make available a racing program of about 100 races per annum. Introduce two national championships and an inter-city league championship
Recommendation Seven – Website, Records and Results
Design an effective website that provides swimmers with current and relevant information and news and especially prepare national age group and open swimming records.
Recommendation Eight – Involve non-KSA born swimmers
Investigate with the KSA Olympic Committee, FINA and other KSA government agencies the practicality of allowing non-born Saudi residents to be members of KSA national swim teams.
Recommendation Nine – A coach driven environment
Undertake initiatives recommended in this Review that promote the importance and responsibilities associated with coaching in the KSA. To produce a coach driven sport.

As you can see several of these recommendations are very similar to the policy changes promoted on this website for New Zealand. In particular the recommendations shown in the table below apply to New Zealand swimming.

Recommendation Two – Abandon the SASF involvement in direct learn to swim and focus on promoting independent Sibaha compliant swim schools.

Recommendation Three – Abolish short term foreign coaching and foreign training camps

Recommendation Four – Appoint a Head Coach with a new role

Recommendation Five – Change amount of work

Recommendation Nine – A coach driven environment

Of course the President and the New Zealand CEO of Saudi swimming paid no attention to the Report or its recommendations. The CEO knew as much about swimming as Johns and Coterill. In my view the CEO’s performance, over the four or five years he was there, was equally catastrophic. For all the good my Report did, both of them must have pushed “Delete” the minute my email arrived. Not one of the recommendations was even attempted.

So what was the result of their blind ignorance? Well, when I was in Saudi Arabia I was told every effort had to go into getting Saudi swimmers to perform well at the 2018 Asian Games. This is where Saudi Arabia’s reputation was on the line. This is where Saudi Arabia had to be seen as a successful sporting nation. National honour and prestige were at stake in Jakarta. More than the Olympics even, it was important for Saudi Arabia to be seen as successful in a meeting of its Asian brother nations.

Well, this week the Asian Games swimming has been held. How did Saudi Arabia get on? Did the policies followed by the New Zealand CEO work? Did he earn the inflated income he asked the Saudi’s to pay? Did Saudi swimming stand proudly alongside China and Japan? Sadly, no, it was a disaster for the Kingdom.

From a population of 32.6 million – but only 16.3 million count because, unbelievably, women are not allowed to swim – the selectors were only able to name a team of one. That’s pretty sad until you remember that New Zealand could only find two home swimmers capable of swimming in the Pan Pacific Games. As I said look at Saudi Arabia SNZ and see your future if you continue with the destructive policies of the past decade.

The table below shows the results achieved by the one Saudi representative.

Name of Swimmer Event Time Place in Event
Bu Arish 50 Free 24.39 31st
Bu Arish 100 Fly 57.84 27th
Bu Arish 50 Fly 25.74 30th
Bu Arish 100 Free Failed to start N/A

Clearly, after spending a fortune on an imported New Zealand CEO, whatever reforms the New Zealander convinced the Saudis to try, didn’t work. He dismissed local coaches out of hand, just like SNZ. He imported foreign Head Coaches whose commitment to Saudi swimming was deeply suspect, just like SNZ. Instead of a coach led sport he had a bunch of Head Office ignorant bureaucrats telling swimming people how the sport should be run, just like SNZ. The Saudis got my Report for free. Pursuing its findings would have yielded a better Asian Games result. But the principal lesson from all this is the absolute certainty that the policies being followed by Johns and Cotterill are leading us inevitably to the same Saudi fate.