Archive for November, 2018

A Problem With Authority

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018


Hataitai Beach

On Tuesday morning I was sitting in the Millennium Pool Whole Food Café with the four swimmers I help just now. Actually they are not all swimmers. Eyad is the only swimmer. Two of the others are triathletes and the fourth is a runner, using swimming to recover from an injury. I enjoy our after-training morning tea. The Whole Food Café staff are warm and friendly. They make a superb pot of green tea and cook delicious potato wedges that, my doctor warns me, I should not be eating.

There is never a pause in the conversation. The four of us talk way too much for that. One of the triathletes has a PhD in some obscure subject. She has read my three books on swimming and like all good university brains underlines the bits she thinks need further explanation. I enjoy the challenge of being asked to explain myself. A coach who cannot justify his or her training should not be coaching. If it is good enough to ask someone to swim six or seven kilometers, it’s only fair to explain why the two hours is good for them.

Normally the answers to her questions are not difficult. When you have spent countless hours discussing training with coaches like Lydiard, Jelley, Laing and Schubert most of the ground has been covered before. In fact a common quality in all those master coaches is their unstinting willingness to share their knowledge. Lydiard said a coach should always call himself a teacher. It put into context the responsibilities of the job. Jelley, of course, was a teacher and for years was principal of one of New Zealand’s leading “normal schools” used for training teachers. His deep knowledge of education clearly influenced his coaching. It certainly had a profound effect on my coaching life.

But back to Tuesday. My triathlete friend came up with a question that did cause surprise. “Do you,” she said, “have a problem with authority?”

Today is Wednesday and I’m still considering how to answer her question. I guess the fact that thirty-six hours have gone by means the answer is probably, yes. But it is not my fault. It is all because of swimming.

I’ve decided my rebellion began when I was four. I was a member of the Hataitai Swimming Club in Wellington. We didn’t have a pool but swam on a Saturday morning between two jetties at the Hataitai Beach. In those days, learners were awarded stickers for each stage in their swimming progress. By four years of age I had all the stickers except the last one given for completing an 800 yards swim. One Saturday I asked a club official if I could have a shot at swimming the distance. He said yes and off I went. To this day, sixty-six years later, I can remember that swim like it was yesterday. It went on forever. Thirty-two widths of Haitaitai Beach is a long way to swim when you are four years old. Eventually I finished and went to the officials to get my sticker. But no I was told my laps had not been officially counted. The official counting my laps had to go home for lunch. I would have to do the swim another time.

I was devastated. I pleaded my case with the officials to no avail. I explained I had been swimming for close to an hour. I had counted every length. “Bad luck. Come back next Saturday,” was their response. I walked up the hill, behind Hataitai Beach, to my home and explained to my mother the injustice of my cause. To her eternal credit she took my side. We went back down the hill to the beach. My mother was a pretty eloquent individual. She argued my case with considerable conviction – and she won. I was given the 800 yards sticker. My swimming certificate was complete. .

So, I guess, the implication in my triathlete friend’s question is probably right. From four years old I have had a problem with officials. Too often in the sixty-six years since I have come across officials who should not be in the job. They cheat and they lie without care or remorse. Sadly, it seems that these days, the more they are paid the worse they get. Much of what goes on in Swimming New Zealand is exactly the same as denying a four year old his 800 yards certificate. These bad buggers have made me wary and have encouraged the Swimwatch blog.

Fortunately their negative influence is matched by some wonderfully fair and good people. People like Beth Meade, Jo Draisey, Jennie Siburn, Judith Wright, Gwen Ryan, Duncan Laing, Lincoln Hurring, Jay Thomas (he’s from Florida), Maria Hartman (she was from the UK) and a dozen others stand out as honest and good people who have done swimming and athletics proud. Without question it is the influence of these people that has kept me in the sport.

There is a postscript to my 800 yards story. Thirty-five years after I swam the 800 yards my daughter Jane was three years old. On the way to Moana Pool I told her the story of my swim. She asked if she could try the same distance a year younger, at three. I agreed. For a long time that morning Duncan Laing and I stood beside the Moana Pool while Jane swam her 800 meters. She swam a slightly longer distance and a year younger than I had been. Fourteen years later Jane was selected to swim for New Zealand in the Pan Pacific Championships. Duncan Laing was coaching the team. When Jane arrived at the airport Duncan smiled and said, “Hello blondie. I remember when you swam 800 meters in the Moana Pool at three years of age.” And that’s a good bloke – a bloody good swimming official.

Canberra To Close

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

I read with considerable interest today the news that the National Swimming Training Centre (NTC) in Canberra is to close. The decision was announced by Swimming Australia’s Chief Strategist High Performance, Alex Baumann. Remember him? He’s the one who used to be the boss of High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ). More on the irony of that later.

Baumann explained the Canberra decision by saying, “With two years to go to Tokyo it was important we evaluated all eleven of our High Performance Centres to ensure that the support we provide is meeting our performances objectives.

“We are very fortunate to be in a position, through the support of Sport Australia, Principal Partners Hancock Prospecting and Optus, and our other partners, that we can provide world-class facilities and support in programs all over Australia.

“This means that athletes, including developing athletes, now have more choice than ever regarding the location of their training programs and there is no need for a centralized residential program.”

In my opinion Baumann is a two-faced carpet-bagger. For years he sat in his HPSNZ office and accepted close to $500,000 in pay, probably the highest salary paid in New Zealand sport. Through all that time he demanded that Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) follow a centralised training policy. Government funding was conditional on SNZ obeying Baumann’s orders. And first among those was loyalty to the centralised Millennium training program.

In 2014 Baumann said that his instruction from the Minister of Sport was, “To ensure that New Zealand is consistently one of the most successful sporting nations in the world” To do that Baumann said New Zealand swimming needed to “Establish a one stop shop high performance entity.”

For years SNZ slavishly followed the instructions of their master. They poured millions into the centralised training program. They employed the Baumann endorsed David Lyles. That lasted five minutes before Lyles was made redundant. SNZ tolerated any instruction, obeyed any order, likely to keep the Baumann checks rolling in. And none of it worked.

Baumann’s orders were sounding symbols, signifying nothing. No medals and two generations of New Zealand’s best swimmers lost. Baumann’s orders were destructive doctrinal nonsense. But worse than that, it now appears there was no conviction or principle behind the Baumann policy. While he was in New Zealand Baumann went along with Miskimmin’s grand plan. Miskimmin wanted a centralised empire. Baumann built it for him. That expediency cost the country millions and, for swimming, achieved nothing. And it looks like the whole centralised training idea in cycling and rowing is about to fall over as well. All the signs have a familiar SNZ look. CEO’s are leaving and coaches are resigning or being sacked. Baumann’s signature “one stop shops” are looking increasingly like “last stop terminals”.

But worst of all it appears Baumann didn’t really care. In 2017 he packed up and went to Australia. When he found the Australians had discovered that “one stop shops” didn’t work, Baumann decided they didn’t work either. After just one year in the place Baumann has closed the world’s best known “one stop shop”. What a transformation. Twelve months on and he is promoting the Swimwatch argument that he savaged during his time in New Zealand.

Even the worst Swimwatch critic would have to admit we have been consistently vocal in our criticism of centralised training. We have instead promoted the American decentralised system. From the moment Jan Cameron came up with the idea that we should copy the Canberra model we have been its biggest critic. Baumann and his mates dismissed us as ignorant troublemakers. And now Baumann is doing what we said he should have done a decade ago. As I said, carpet bagging in the extreme.

That either means Baumann is a person who has had a “road to Damascus” moment of enlightenment or just goes along with the prevailing opinion of whoever is paying his wages. I know which one I think it is but will leave you to decide your personal answer. While you ponder that just consider what New Zealand could and should have done with the millions spent pursuing Baumann’s fantasy.

The Fundamentals Of Corruption

Monday, November 26th, 2018

The problem with Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) bureaucrats is not that they deliberately set out to be dishonest. The problem is they have no concept of the difference between honesty and dishonesty. They are not immoral; they are amoral. They believe the way they act is the way it should be done. They see nothing wrong. They do not understand that in 2018 the divine right of sporting kings is no longer the way to govern. They do not understand that decisions made in sporting offices must be honest and must comply with national and international laws.

The Chairman of SNZ was seriously upset that Swimwatch and others questioned his signature on Lauren Boyle’s 1500 meter record application.  He even used the sport’s Annual Report to express his anger. But the fact was his organisation signed a record application that said the pool Lauren swam in complied with all FINA rules. That was a lie. Worse, it was an unnecessary lie. SNZ played with words in an attempt to justify their dishonesty. But it was all a case of protesting too much. The stain on FINA and SNZ, the exposure of dishonesty that episode brought about will never be repaired. Why? Because with FINA’s complicity SNZ got away with a lie. Corrupt behaviour got a pass.

The same thing is happening now. I spent three days being interrogated by SNZ about accusations made about my coaching. Two years later I am having to fight through the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner for the right to read the investigator’s report. I have no doubt the report clears me completely. If it didn’t, I would never be allowed in a swimming pool again. However for some reason SNZ are fighting tooth and nail to avoid the accused, that’s me, reading the report. So far they have refused to give me the report. They have asked for it all to be redacted. They have played every childish game imaginable. They appear oblivious to the fact that their behavior is illegal and will eventually cause a dishonesty stain on them and the organisation.

Those are two examples of behaviour in sport that would not be tolerated elsewhere. There is a corrupt autocracy in Olympic sport that must be changed. Fortunately Russian billionaire, Grigorishin, is pressing ahead with his ISL mission. Educating athletes is one of the keys to progress. And here is one of the lessons described by Craig Lord on his SwimVortex Facebook page.

There are, he notes, “100 times more bureaucrats (parasites)” in Olympic sport than there are in the world of professional, commercialised sport. Where UEFA has 500 employees and has an annual revenue of $3.3 billion to feed into average salaries of $1.5m for around 1,500 players, the top five Olympic sports, including track and field and swimming, are run by around 80,000 bureaucrats, revenue is around $4 billion and the 1,000 best athletes have an average income from their work of $25,000.

Clearly that is corrupt. Olympic sports are behaving badly. But does that dishonesty extend into SNZ? The numbers are not easy to find. We know from the Annual Accounts that Steve Johns, the CEO, and Peter Carroll, the Finance Manager, together receive $285,000. The other 14 are a bit of a guess but based on the figures in the 2018 accounts my guess is the remaining 14 are paid a total of $1,000,000. All up that is a total payment on wages of $1,285,000 or an average of $80,300 over the 16 staff members.

What do the athletes get paid? The answer is $91,000 in PEGS payments and $4000 in rewards. That totals $95,000 or a pathetic 7% of the bureaucracy’s wage bill and an even more pathetic 3% of the organisations total income. I’m not sure how many swimmers the $95,000 is spread over. My guess is about 16, meaning each athlete averages $6,000.

So what does this say? It says Johns and Francis put an average value on their office staff of $80,300 each and value their swimmers of $6,000; only 7% as much. So when Francis or Johns tell you how important the swimmers are, when they talk up a storm about the swimmers coming first, ask them why the swimmers rate of pay is only 7% of their office staff. SNZ are every bit as corrupt as FINA. The bulk of the money goes to office parasites. The whole set-up is a bureaucratic rip-off.

And yet if we take Grigorishin’s next step and ask who contributes the most value to the sport? Who attracts the most attention? Who is it that newspapers and TV want to know about? The answer of course is that the value of swimming without Hunter or Mains, or Fa’amausili, or Perry or Godwin or a dozen others would be zero. It begs the obvious question – how come those who provide 100% the value only get 7% of the reward? That is the very essence of corruption. That is why Grigorishin’s 50% rule has so much appeal. Athletes would still only be getting half their value but that’s 700% better than they get now.

The crisis in swimming at FINA and at SNZ starts at the top. In New Zealand that means it starts with Cotterill, Johns and Francis. They run a business that scores at the bottom of the league in social responsibility, internal accountability and control, democratic processes and transparency. Delegates from the Regions know that this is the case. They know it needs to be changed. And yet year after year they do nothing. Cotterill, Francis and Johns go on unchecked because those who know better are not calling them to account.

Just as it is the National Federation’s responsibility to call FINA to account, it is the Regions responsibility to correct the corruption in Antares Place. It is their responsibility to challenge and remove people and cultures and practices that are wholly unacceptable.

Why Are We Always Bloody Last?

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

Here is why I get pissed off at Swimming New Zealand (SNZ). For months now the swimming world has been changing. Professionalism is on its way. The International Swimming League (ISL) under the guidance of Russian billionaire Konstantin Grigorishin is either pushing FINA into the 21st century or is threatening to leave the world body without a sport to run. Best of all, the ISL effort at reform is backed by some top class swimmers. Clearly names like Adam Peaty, Cameron van der Burgh, Chad Le Clos, Emily Seebohm, Frederica Pellegrini, Femke Heermskerk, Katinka Hosszu, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Sarah Sjostrom, Simone Manuel, Tom Shields and a dozen others are fed up with the FINA slave/master relationship and have joined the ISL revolution. When the time is right Eyad will certainly join that list.

It is bad enough that Cotterill, Johns and Francis sit in Antares Place, on their over-paid fat bums, doing nothing while the swimming world changes around them. It is bad enough that they appear too stupid to see that the ISL is working to make life better for every swimmer who puts on a competitive swim suit. It is bad enough that they accept flights around the world paid for by SNZ and charge swimmers a fortune for the same thing.

But what is beyond belief, what is inexcusable, is their apparent blind ignorance of world events.

Here is how Craig Lord reported the current position on the SwimVortex Facebook page.

Britain is one of more than 15 leading swimming nations that have defied global swim bosses and deliberately breached outdated rules by backing a breakaway International Swimming League (ISL) in its struggle to end the monopoly of their sport by FINA.

Reflecting a mood for change far and wide among FINA member nations who know that the constitution of the international federation is now out of step with European Union anti-trust laws on competition (members cannot engage with or have “any kind of relationship with a non-affiliated … body”), a spokesperson for British Swimming backs Adam Peaty and moves to engage with the wider sports audience when it tells The Sunday Times: “We have been talking to our swimmers, coaches and their agents as well as LEN, FINA, ISL and other countries. Swimming is a great sport and we are supportive of innovation to increase the profile both of our swimmers and swimming events.

Citing constitutional rules that the European Union’s Competition Authority has outlawed, the international swimming federation this month used threats of suspension to force the cancellation of a League test event scheduled for Turin on the cusp of Christmas. Adam Peaty, Britain’s most decorated swimmer, led a call for swimmers to back the ISL and its plans to pay the first professional wages – of more than $1m “within five to eight years” – in the sport and help to unionise swimmers.

For months Swimwatch has pushed SNZ to join the ISL reform initiative. The expression used a dozen times is that New Zealand should “join the Grigorishin train”. But did SNZ listen? Of course not. I doubt that Cotterill, Johns and Francis even understand what’s going on. And if they did, I doubt they would be brave enough to do anything about it. They sit around in the $70,000 offices, paid their $100,000 plus salaries apparently oblivious to the most important forces about to take over the sport. Instead of seizing the opportunity to make a real difference to the sport of swimming, instead of publically leading what is now a crusade of 15 swimming nations, instead of doing something that could really benefit Daniel Hunter, Simon Perry, Emma Godwin and a score of others – they spend their time illegally, in my view, redacting the report into the investigation into my coaching or making life difficult for a Syrian refugee to complete a IOC Application or charging swimmers $5,300 to represent the country or drinking coffee for hours in the Millennium Wholefood Café. Talk about a waste of space. In my opinion the three of them are negligent beyond belief. Father, Son and Holy Ghost just bloody disgusting.

But it is not too late. Fifteen nations have “joined the Grigorishin train”. If Johns can tear himself away from obstructing the report into my coaching, New Zealand could join the world movement, as nation number 16. We should be there. It is important. The future of swimming is being played out in our absence. How the sport will look for generations to come is being decided right now. Sadly, because of stupidity, incompetence, cowardice or willful neglect, New Zealand does not have a chair at the table. Our future is being decided in our absence. It is not good enough.

But more than not good enough, this waste is a classic demonstration of why the performance of swimming has declined so badly through the last decade. Instead of addressing the big decisions that have a material effect on the sport, SNZ bureaucrats wander about blindly sticking their noses into stuff that others do far better. Instructing learn-to-swim teachers for example; coaching competitive swimmers another example.

In the meantime SNZ’s primary responsibility of creating the environment in which the sport of swimming can grow and prosper lies abandoned. Well SNZ, the swimming environment is about to change at a hundred miles an hour. Soon you are not going to be there to be part of it. We suggest you do your job. We suggest you catch the train before it runs you over.

If FINA is a family, How come they treat their children so badly?

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

The sport of swimming is changing. There have been several efforts at reform in the past. But this time there is different feel about the effort. This time the people involved are heavy weights – from British journalist Craig Lord to outstanding UK swimmer Adam Peaty, to USA Olympic Champion Simone Manuel and Russian billionaire Konstantin Grigorishin. These are not people to be taken lightly. They know what’s good for swimming and are up to their eyes-balls in getting it done. If you are interested in reading more about what’s going on, Craig Lord has written an excellent summary. Here is the link.

If Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) had half a brain, but of course it doesn’t, they would join the Grigorishin army. In fact swimming in New Zealand has the opportunity to transform itself from a swimming backwater to leading the world. You see the key reform proposed by Grigorishin is professionalism, a world where 50% of the sports income is paid to the swimmers. SNZ could do that now. New Zealand could lead the swimming world.

Don’t be stupid I hear Steve Johns and Gary Francis exclaim. Their reaction is why they should not be involved. So here is how it could be done.

Set out in the table below in Column One is the 2018 SNZ profit and loss account. That is what SNZ is doing now. This is the activity that produced one bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, nothing at the Pan Pacific Games and a $5,300 bill for every swimmer selected to swim in the World SC Championships. This is a profit and loss account that does not work. Column Two shows the changes that could reform swimming in New Zealand. Column Three shows what a reformed 2020 profit and loss account could look like. The text below the table will describe the changes that would cause the reform.

Item Amount $000 – 1 Amount $000 – 2 Amount $000 – 3
Income 2018 Current Changes 2020 Budget
Grants and Donations 1,962 0 1,962
Swimming Activities 1,192 0 1,192
Total Income 3,154 0 3,154
Administration 524 -250 274
Audit 13 0 13
Marketing 3 97 100
Depreciation 40 0 40
Events 556 244 800
Education 643 -643 0
Governance 23 0 23
High Performance Coach Support 225 -225 0
High Performance Teams 559 -309 250
High Performance Programs 299 -299 0
Legal 3 17 20
Loss on Sale Fixed Assets 18 0 18
Motor Vehicles 22 -10 12
Pegs 91 0 91
Rent 72 0 72
Rewards 4 -4 0
Prize Money 0 1,382 1,382
Total Expenditure 3095 0 3,095
Profit (Loss) 59 0 59


We have assumed there will be no change in income. An income of $3,154,000 combined with the new policy of spending 50% on prize money, paid directly to swimmers, means the aim is to spend $1,577,000 on prize money.


The cost of administration should drop by $250,000. This would be achieved by dismissing Gary Francis and Steve Johns. The nature of the business is changing and these two are not needed. Currently SNZ is directly involved in a range of swimming activities from learn-to-swim to elite competitive swimming. That is not the organisation’s job. Those functions are the responsibility of clubs and professional coaches. SNZ spends a fortune on telling professional coaches and teachers how they should be doing their job. The fact is that every coach and swim teacher in New Zealand has forgotten more about swimming than Francis or Johns ever knew. The two SNZ staff members are not needed. They are not part of the new organisation’s role. They should go.


We have assumed there will be no change in the audit fee.


The cost of marketing is expected to increase by $97,000. This reflects the change in the primary function of SNZ. The purpose of the organisation should not be to meddle about in functions other people do better, like learn-to-swim and competitive coaching, but should be to promote the popularity of the sport. This should be done by using the two big events controlled by SNZ – the Open LC Championships and the Open SC Championships. These need to be turned into Wimbledon style events. To do that money needs to be spent on marketing.


We have assumed there will be no change in the cost of depreciation


This cost is projected to increase by $244,000 to $800,000. This reflects two factors. First, the cost of running the Age Group Championships, the Division Two Championships, the Open Water Championships and the Secondary School’s Championships will not change. Those events should continue on as they do now. The additional money is needed to upgrade the LC and SC Open Championships. They are currently pretty dull. They certainly do not compare with the hype I have seen in the USA. The upgrade will require more money.


It has always been the ultimate irony that one of the Moller Report’s key recommendations was for SNZ to get out of this learn-to-swim function. For some unknown reason the Board has stubbornly refused to comply. Their decision is ridiculous. Dozens of learn-to-swim organisations are better equipped to perform this function. The Waterhole or Coast or Millennium Swim Schools could and would train swim teachers better in a heartbeat. The business should be sold or given away. This cost of $643,000 would no longer be incurred.


This is the cost of the SNZ Board and is not expected to change.

High Performance Coach Support  

Just as there is no need or purpose for SNZ to be involved in learn-to-swim, SNZ should have no involvement in high performance coaching. SNZ has spent many millions on elite coaching and has achieved nothing. The whole thing should be dropped and left to club coaches who are much better equipped to handle the role. Let me think – Hollywood or Francis, Winter or Johns, Benson or Cotterill – not hard is it? The saving is expected to be $225,000.

High performance Teams

The current cost of $559,000 is expected to reduce by $309,000 to $250,000. This reflects the change in SNZ’s responsibilities. In the past SNZ has run a traditional amateur sport where teams are sent to key events. SNZ has not always done that well. The current World SC Championship is a classic example. The move towards professionalism will change all that. Well-paid professional athletes pay to get themselves to major events. Federer pays his own way to Wimbledon. The same principle should work here. Well-paid swimmers can pay their own travel costs. Junior teams will, of course, not change which is why the schedule shows a cost of $250,000.

High Performance Programs     

This cost will also be eliminated as SNZ gets out of any involvement in high performance swimming. The saving will be $299,000.


Professional sport tends to bring its share of problems. For this reason the cost of legal fees has been increased by $17,000 to $20,000.

Loss on Sale of Fixed Assets

We have assumed there will be no change in the loss on the sale of fixed assets.

Motor Vehicles

The cost of motor vehicles is expected to reduce by $10,000 to $12,000. The reduction in senior staff and the sale of the education activity will reduce the need for motor cars.


We have assumed there will be no change in the cost of the Pegs program.


We have assumed there will be no change in the cost of renting office accommodation.


This program will be eliminated and replaced by direct payment to swimmers. The saving will be $4,000.

Prize Money

This is where the big change will occur. SNZ should spend $1,382,000 on prize money. It should be spent over two competitions – the LC Open Championships and the SC Open Championships.

The amount should be distributed as follows:

Events at both Championships should be divided into categories as shown in the table below.

Category Events Included
Free Sprint Men 50, 100, 200 free
Free Sprint Women 50, 100, 200 free
Free Distance Men 400, 800, 1500 free
Free Distance Women 400, 800, 1500 free
Back Men 50, 100, 200 back
Back Women 50, 100, 200 back
Brst Men 50, 100, 200 brst
Brst Women 50, 100, 200 brst
Fly Men 50, 100, 200 fly
Fly Women 50, 100, 200 fly
IM Men 100 (SC Only) 200, 400 IM
IM Women 100 (SC Only) 200, 400 IM

Points will then be allocated to the top eight finalists in each event. The table below shows the allocation of points for each event.

Place Points
1 12
2 9
3 7
4 5
5 4
6 3
7 2
8 1

At the conclusion of the meet the top eight points winners in each category will be awarded prize money as shown in the table below. The total cost of prize money for each of the twelve categories will be $43,000.  

Place Event Amount
1 12,000
2 9,000
3 7,000
4 5,000
5 4,000
6 3,000
7 2,000
8 1,000
Total 43,000

The total cost of all categories for the meet will be $516,000 as shown in the table below.

Category Category Amount
Free Sprint Men 43,000
Free Sprint Women 43,000
Free Distance Men 43,000
Free Distance Women 43,000
Back Men 43,000
Back Women 43,000
Brst Men 43,000
Brst Women 43,000
Fly Men 43,000
Fly Women 43,000
IM Men 43,000
IM Women 43,000
Total Prize Money 516,000

The prize money allocated for each meet will be $516,000. The total annual cost will be as shown in the table below.

Annual Prize Money Annual Amount
Long Course Nationals 516,000
Short Course Nationals 516,000
Insurance 350,000
Total Annual Prize Money 1,382,000

The amount of $350,000 shown as the annual amount paid for insurance is the estimated cost of insuring additional payments for records set at either meet. The prize offered will be $100,000 for an open able body New Zealand record and $500,000 for an able body world record. The New Zealand open record prize is only available to New Zealand swimmers. Swimmers from anywhere in the world should be able to win the category and world record prize money. The cost of insuring this risk has been estimated as shown in the table below.

Insurance Annual Amount
New Zealand Open Record 100,000
World Record 250,000
Total Insurance 350,000

So there it is – a plan to increase the profile and popularity of swimming. With this money on offer little old New Zealand would attract swimmers from all over the world. Imagine Peaty, Campbell, Manuel, Ledecky, Lochte and Sjöströmn all gathered at the New Zealand Championships. TV would be falling over itself to film the event. Sponsors would be beating down the Antares Place door. And best of all, young New Zealanders would see the reality of their dreams. I guarantee in two years swimming membership would double. Imagine NZ Champions, Hunter and Godwin, earning a good living doing what they enjoy. Breaking a New Zealand Open Record plus a category win in the LC and SC Championships would give a swimmer an annual income of $124,000 – not as much as it should be but a good place to start.