Swimming Natation Canada (SNC) Strategic Plan, called Vision 2020 outlines its primary objective as follows:
“Increase revenues by 50%, and do so by increasing membership by 66%.”
This vision statement sums up everything wrong with swimming, and organized sport in general today. With the focus of our sports federation turning to financial growth, instead of improving training, coaching, access to the sport, removing barriers to entry, and supporting our athletes, the business of swimming is no longer about the sport, nor the athletes… its about monetizing every aspect of sport with disregard for the impact, the intended and unintended consequences it causes.
This strategic plan is appropriate if it came from the Annual Report of a publicly listed and traded for-profit company on the TSX, not from a non-profit government funded sport federation, not from Swimming Canada / Swim Ontario / Masters Swimming Canada.
This strategic plan is clear communication from the Executive of these associations that they are primarily concerned with the security of their own positions and compensation packages, and secondarily with the sport, with Canadians.
As a family, we started TOEST because we believe sport must be brought back to its roots… a tool for masters athletes to regain their health, to improve their performance in life, as a means to pursue meaningful and challenging goals, and as a tool for our youth to develop life skills which will serve them throughout life, helping them to reach for their potential and experience it. If we earn a few podiums along the way, fantastic, but the real podium in life – as Bruce Lee would say – is when you are expressing yourself freely, living at the highest level of your purpose.