Working in cooperation with FINA National Federations, this funding assists these organisations in carrying out a range of activities, from grassroots to elite athlete development programmes.

These initiatives fall under FINA’s Aquatic Support Programme, as 2023 sees FINA’s funding commitment increase from the USD 4.7 million allocated to development spending in 2022.

Commitment to Athlete-First Programmes

Image Source: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

At least 75% percent of funds that National Federations receive from FINA must be invested into athlete-centred programmes, where athletes are the main beneficiaries.

Aquatic Support Programmes proposals that receive funding by showing how it would impact any number of the following: impact on athlete assistance; engagement of coaches and officials; grassroots participation; and the number of events organised.

Strategic Vision of the FINA Aquatic Support Programme | How it works

Image Source: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

In 2023, FINA National Federations are eligible for USD 25,000, plus a USD 5,000 bonus for showing improved governance.

This past year has seen numerous countries make strides in this area, where they are independently audited through a 20-point FINA Governance Survey Score.

The Faroe Islands were among the high improvers, which saw them increase 10 points from last year to 18 out of a maximum 20-point score. The improvement saw Faroe Island move from the “Basic Level of Governance” to the “High Level of Governance” group of FINA National Federations.

Image Source: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The other highest level of governance scorers (18 out of a possible 20 points) were: Aruba, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Spain, Finland, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mali, Pakistan, Paraguay, Singapore, Switzerland and Uganda.

Another notable example of a FINA National Federation of taking a leading role in sports governance came from Micronesia, with the Federated States of Micronesia Swimming Federation becoming the country’s first national sports governing body to have a Code of Ethics.

Image Source: Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

FINA President Husain Al-Musallam expressed the importance of good governance throughout sports.

"As sports organisations, we have an important responsibility to lead by example,” the FINA President said. “In aquatic sports, we are a world united by water. On the ground, we are seeing more countries improve the accessibility to pools and learn-to-swim programmes as well as more and more countries finding success in international events.

“This is aided by what’s happening off the field of play, with good governance playing a key role in this progress,” FINA President Al-Musallam added. “The commitment and resilience our National Federations and Continental Associations have shown has led to numerous efficient and effective programmes for athletes.”