FINA Communications Department

The second day of the FINA World Aquatics Convention was highlighted by a morning session which provided the delegates with a unique opportunity to learn the key principles of fundraising and other non-traditional ways of generating revenues.

Well respected and experienced speakers at this session were International Fundraising Consultancy CEO Bill King, crowdfunding website owner Samit Patel and IDG China Vice President Zhang Li. Bill King introduced the work his company does and explained the principals of fundraising.

“Fundraising is essentially how you get money out of individuals. In order to achieve this, all you need are three things: a good story to tell, a pool of people who will engage with that story and a way to tell an emotional story. There is only one reason people will give and donate, it is to be the hero to solve the problems they identify. Our role is to make them believe their gift will make the difference.”

He added that FINA’s audience is “the people who care about your sport. It is about building an on-going relationship with these people. There are many ways to fundraise from the many: on the website, donation on the day and raffles / competition. You can also take the direction of raising from the few with special events, networking, one-to-one meeting and bespoke approaches.”

King later concluded his presentation by giving the examples of how the British and Australian Paralympic Committees have raised millions through fundraising for their athletes.

Samit Patel’s presentation focused on crowdfunding. He gave the example of the London to Sochi Ski runners who raised lots of money to attend and take part in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.

The second morning of discussions concluded with a session on licensing and merchandising which enlightened how these are of utmost importance to the federations to generate a revenue stream. It gave concrete examples on how aquatic organisations can benefit from this practice and what brands are looking for in order to conclude fruitful partnerships.

Dentsu Senior Manager Shintato Kogake, Alibaba Senior Director Hu Danqing and All Fish Vice President Yi Jiandong animated the panel.

Mr Shintato Kogake presented the various merchandising operations that have been developed in the lead up to the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the huge revenues generated by the mascots and other branded goods. He suggested some recommendations to FINA to enhance the FINA World Championships brand with official licensed products.

Anti-doping – ensuring fair play in aquatics was the theme of the afternoon of Day 2 with newly-set up organisation ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen, FINA DCRB Chairman Jorge Segura and European Regional Office and International Federation Relations Director Sebastien Gillot.

I am happy to see such a big audience to talk about this important topic - anti-doping,” started Jorge Segura.

“It is clear we all share the same values for our sport. We all want to offer a product that is of high standard and respects integrity. FINA has developed a strong structure to combat doping. The Doping Control Review Board (DCRB) supervises and suggests any modifications in the anti-doping policy at FINA. The entity reviews the processes from the sample collection to the result of the analysis, and that the protocol is conducted in the right way, and that it fits with the regulations. It also attributes the TUE for athletes who need it.

“The Doping Panel is also there to evaluate the outcome of the decision. The Doping Panel calls for a hearing when necessary. The hand book is the main tool together with the World Anti-Doping Code. Rules in the handbook are fully compliant with the WADA code. The FINA rules are aligned with the WADA code and the international standards and the technical documents index. We have also established with FINA a list of athletes to be tested depending on the risk and the disciplines. The athletes that have to be monitored and whose whereabouts have to be checked more regularly.

“FINA is the third IF in terms of number of tests conducted every year behind UCI and IAAF. FINA is really one of the federations testing its athletes the most regularly. We can be proud of the results of our activities. The most tested countries remain USA and Russia, but all countries with relevant swimmers are being controlled. FINA will continue in the forefront of the fight against Doping in sport. Because we want to swim in clean water!” emphasised Segura.

Sebastien Gillot reviewed the main challenges the world of sport and aquatics are facing and reminded the core role of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“The WADA code is the basis of all the anti-doping programmes. It is signed by 683 signatories, 187 states parties and has a global endorsement of 99%.” Gillot recalled.

“FINA has done a tremendous work to comply with our code. FINA has demonstrated that its anti-doping programmes are really robust and strong and the collaboration with the intelligence department is very good. FINA collaboration is very valuable to us at the moment as we are pre-testing athletes for major events such as the Olympic Games.”

Benjamin Cohen introduced the Independent Testing Agency (ITA), founded in 2017 by the Olympic Summit, a gathering of the most senior sports leaders of the world. The ITA has a true independent anti-doping expertise and added value by working with intelligence agencies. Already 39 International Federations have partnered with ITA.

“FINA has truly been creating expertise in that field. It has appointed the resources to fight against doping. The goal of ITA is not to steal the programmes from the IF but to work hand in hand with them to increase the level of expertise and help them in their heavy task.”

FINA also announced today at the Convention that it has signed an anti-doping service agreement with the International Testing Agency (ITA). For me details on the announcement, please read our press release here 

Over the years, FINA has greatly invested in its Development Programmes aimed at providing high-level technical expertise to the coaches and officials from all National Federations. The latest activities undertaken under these programmes were presented in today’s penultimate session by FINA Vice Presidents Dale Neuburger and Denis Miller, FINA Bureau Members Errol Clarke and Dr. Mohamed Diop as well as Kazan (RUS) Directorate for Sports and Social Projects Director General Azat Kadyrov.

Dale Neuburger presented the 2018 activities, including the clinics and the new FINA National Aquatics Managers Programme, the E-learning platform on which the coaches’ certifications are available at different levels. He also touched on the Development Centres where the FINA scholarship athletes train. The FINA Olympic Aquatics Support Programme has also emerged in 2018 and 159 Federations have applied for it.

Denis Miller talked about the activities in Oceania. 12 Federations in Oceania have benefitted from the Olympic Aquatics Support Programme. He took the cases of Samoa, that established a new programme with FINA’s support. Fiji also improved its administration and governance thanks to this initiative. New Zealand, Palau, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Australia and Cook Islands are other countries that have taken advantage of the Olympic Aquatics Support just this year.

“Australia is our biggest and most successful country but other smaller, but just as important, countries have been also preparing their athletes for upcoming major events.” Miller explained.

“On the other hand, the Continental Support Programme 2018 assisted projects such as the grassroots development – learn to swim, competition development, administration and governance and programme management.”

Errol Clark presented the projects undertaken in the Americas, the continental association he heads (44 Federations on total). Costa Rica has been able to send a team at two regional events in swimming and water polo and win. Antigua & Barbuda promoted swimming and water safety in primary schools with the support received from FINA. Colombia has used the funds to renovate dated facilities and to purchase gym equipment.

Dr. Mohammed Diop presented the various benefits the FINA Olympic Aquatics Programme has brought to Africa. He talked about the new performance centre that is being inaugurated in Dakar (SEN) which will prevent young talents to exile to more developed countries to train.