CHIEF EXECUTIVE, Andy Salmon, has promised to deliver a changed culture within Swim England.

New Swim England chief executive Andy Salmon has encouraged the entire aquatics community to get behind the national governing body’s ‘commitment to change’. Andy gave his thoughts on the recently-published independent listening research and issued a sincere apology to anyone who had endured poor experiences or inappropriate behaviour.

He spoke frankly about the responsibility and opportunities he and the organisation face to ensure that all aquatic sports are ‘really inclusive, accessible and, most importantly, safe for everybody’ who takes part in them. He urged anyone ‘who cares about aquatics’ to read the listening report as he hailed the ‘many, many volunteers and professionals who work day in, day out to make aquatics the best sport it can possibly be’.

Andy said: “My first thoughts are very much with anybody who’s had a poor experience and in particular those people who’ve survived inappropriate behaviour. “There is no place for inappropriate behaviour in aquatics. Full stop. “I really acknowledge and I really apologise to those people for the poor experience they’ve had. “What we have to do is consider how we respond to this report. The report’s very clear. We need to change and my commitment is that we will change. Let me make that really, clear.

Andy said, however, that any change would take time. “What we mustn’t do is create some sort of knee-jerk reaction,” he said. “But it starts right here and now. “It starts with me. I take my responsibility very, very seriously.

“For me, to model the right behaviours when I’m walking around the corridors here in Loughborough, whether I’m out and about meeting staff regionally, when I’m meeting with communities which I very much hope to do over the coming days, weeks and months, it all starts with step-by-step changes in modelling the right behaviours and taking full account of everything that’s in the report – and making sure that we don’t accept those issues any longer.”

Andy spoke about the reasons why the chance to become Swim England’s chief executive was so appealing to him. “Lots of people have asked me that question over the last six months,” he said. “The brief was very clear about the need for change here in the organisation so there was a good match there.

“I’m very much change orientated. I think we’ve got a real opportunity to take a good hard look at the culture here within Swim England first of all and then how does that relate to the culture out in aquatics clubs and communities? “That’s really appealing to me and I hope that I can bring some of my past experiences and some of the skills I’ve developed over many years to good effect.”

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