The findings of an Independent Report commissioned by Swimming Australia to look into the experiences of women and girls in the sport have been published.
The report was commissioned in June 2021 following allegations made by Olympic silver medallist Maddie Groves that the sport was full of “misogynistic perverts.” The independent panel who undertook the report were tasked with investigating how women and girls within the sport were being treated.
The panel spoke to more than 150 individuals including former athletes, coaches and parents with Swimming Australia saying “The feedback was open and frank and there were experiences recounted that were difficult to read. We want to reassure those who came forward that the sport is committed to change to ensure these negative experiences are not repeated and apologises unreservedly to those impacted.”
A total of 46 recommendations were made by the panel including updating policies, better education for coaches on what language is appropriate and better systems in place to protect athlete welfare.
An Implementation Steering Group has been tasked with the role of addressing these recommendations. The Implementation Steering Group will meet regularly to ensure each recommendation is thoroughly reviewed with a plan of action and timeline documented, with the initial meeting being scheduled for late January. They will hold the Swimming Australia Board and Executive to account for the implementation.
In December 2021 Groves made further allegations that she was sexually abused from the age of 13 by an individual who still work in swimming.
You can read the Swimming Australia statement and access the recommendations here.