As America’s swimmers celebrated their Olympic success at the annual Golden Goggles awards in New York, and Australia prepared to host its own Swimmer of the Year awards bash in Melbourne, it emerged that the British version, the Splash Awards, was cancelled following the withdrawal of support from British Swimming.
The event had been due to take place on the 9th of November, but was cancelled following the governing body’s decision not to support the event, saying that they didn’t want to be seen to be celebrating after a lacklustre showing in the Olympic pool. This decision was made despite the fact that the awards celebrate all aquatic sports, not just pool swimming.
Organiser and driving force behind the event, Karen Pickering was clearly disappointed.
“Sadly British Swimming pulled out at late notice, so I had to cancel” she said. “I disagreed, I felt we had lots to celebrate but I couldn’t change their minds”
This comes against a backdrop of a successful year for diving and synchronised swimming, sports which both achieved some of their strongest Olympic results, a dominant performance from the Paralympic swimming team and encouraging progression by the men’s and women’s water-polo teams.
However, British Swimming, who have supported the event since its launch in 2005, were keen instead to highlight the need for the £175 per head event to become self-sustaining, particularly in the light of expected funding cuts.
Chief Executive David Sparkes said in a statement, “Due to our swimming performances at the London Olympics we envisage a reduction in resources over the next four years.”
“We are currently planning for this resource impact in terms of how we can best prepare our athletes for the next Olympic cycle and therefore believe it to be inappropriate to offer support to an awards function.”