The crisis in swimming continues: the Israeli championship is in danger

The struggles in the management of the swimming association are hurting the Israeli swimmers – and the crisis in the industry is deepening. The swimming association is unable to come to an agreement regarding the regulations of the Israeli championship which is supposed to take place next month, so the competition which is a criterion for the world championship is in danger due to internal politics.

Due to the tight schedule, the Israeli championship was combined with the trails. Following this, the union was required to change the competition method and therefore the regulations used in 2021 were brought. It is a competition regulation built by professional consultant Dave Marsh and former national team coach Ehud Segal, which has tough criteria and short mix relay races that will take place at the end of the competition.

Representatives in the management did not like this and demanded to act in a different way. The management of the union received the comment and decided that there would be another mixed race for the 4×200 meter relays. on the last day so that the swimmers do not get tired while they fight in the individual games for the criterion for the World Championships, but despite this there were still no agreements on the regulations.

Officials in the industry are angry at those who are delaying the approval of the regulations: “Dave Marsh said that you should think about the World Championship and not about the achievements of the associations. There is no country in the world that involves personal tanners with relays in such competitions. You need to separate one from the other, or do something that will suit everyone. Why sabotage the work of the good swimmers? When they try to hurt the swimmers, it’s already ugly.”

According to the estimates, in recent days Maccabi people are allegedly working behind the scenes against the heads of the union. Among other things, letters were sent to the Ministry of Culture and Sports, allegedly on behalf of the “Struggle Headquarters of Athletes and Coaches”, in which, among other things, allegations were made against the Chairman of the Swimming Association Miki Halika for allegedly having a conflict of interest. In addition, an attempt was made to appoint in his place a person who heads another association in Israeli sports, in a move made behind the scenes with the aim of taking over the association, but this will no longer happen.

In any case, following these letters, members of the management and senior officials of the Israeli union were outraged and issued a letter of response, which was signed by, among others, Julia Kedem Shmueli, Ravid Simon, Assaf Maimon, Israel Winschel, Noam Zvi, Yitzhak Malol, Tal Segal and the chairman of the union Miki skating The letter was also sent to Israeli sports officials.

“Their letter tends to attribute an improper bias to the Israeli championship, as if the championship is a tool for determining the mandates for the elections of board members in the swimming association only,” read the response to the Maccabi members of the association’s management. “Your disregard for the fact that this competition is first and foremost professional and especially when it comes to Trails, where Israeli swimmers set criteria for the World Championships, the Olympic Games, the World Youth Championships, the European Championships up to the age of 23 and youth, and it’s true, the criteria are only in the individual races.”

It is also written that “to load group swimmers on swimmers who are trying to set a criterion for international tasks, is in terms of ‘putting an obstacle in front of a blind person’, certainly not professional and not in the interest of the Israeli swimmer and swimming. It is also known that the counting of mandates has no effect on the budgeting of the associations and the union, and in contrast to the participation of swimmers in the international competitions there is and there is. Also the statements according to which the competition plan has been fundamentally changed from any previous plan, the competition plan for 2021, the last year in which a combined trails was held in the championship, is not really in it. Israel had exactly the same plan.”

In the letter issued mostly on behalf of the Hapoel people, it was stated that “the regulations of the competition are based on the decisions of the senior advisor to the swimming association Dave Marsh, and based on these recommendations as well as on the decisions of the previous director general of the association Amir Tito, the previous chairman Simon Davidson and others in relation to the Trails competition which is also the Israel Championship . These recommendations were discussed in the achievement committee, approved then, approved again this year in the union’s professional committee and then in the union’s management meeting.”

Knesset member Simon Davidson (credit: Elad Gutman)

Now it turns out that an attempt was made to compromise, but the talks ended in an explosion. “In light of the allegations made at the board meeting, the chairman of the union initiated a secretarial meeting at the home of board member and Maccabi representative Shai Shechner, and together a consultation was held on how to put the opinion of the board members, representatives of Maccabi, to them, as stated, ‘there is no consideration related to the elections’ and only the union’s purpose and welfare The swimmers in their eyes. In the summary of that secretary’s meeting, which was forwarded to the union’s management, there was a proposal to add a 4×200 relay race on the last day of the competition, as well as a 4×100 relay on the previous day, even though this violates the principle of the trails. Before the proposal was forwarded to the board members, the bylaws with the changes were handed over to Shai Shechner – who surprisingly announced that he was withdrawing from the summaries.”

The members of the management who are behind the letter attacked: “In the swimming union there are five members of the executive board of representatives of the Maccabi associations, two of whom do not come to the management meetings at all, two are only looking to fail the union and a committee that in their best interest come to this union only to form an ‘audit committee’ and not to to assist We invite you to join and work for Israeli swimming and invite you to tell the board members on your behalf to start coming to meetings and working for swimming in Israel. From our point of view, there is no obstacle to reaching a new conclusion on the subject of the relay races and any solution that preserves the principle of trails and no less the unity of the associations in Israeli swimming.”

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