France: Lionel Horter, the new Technical Director of French swimming, is tackling the issue of France's "forgotten coaches", those who fall from view and support the moment they have no simmer on the national team. "This is an issue that transcends the sport," he tells L'Equipe. "For example, which school does not value a student who was once successful. This is a subject that is dear to me and I will work to keep these coaches in our environment but also our former champions." Among examples is Denis Auguin, coach of 2008 Olympic 100m free champion Alain Bernard, the paper notes alongside references to Christos Paparrodopoulos, mentor to Olympic medallist Hugues Duboscq. Then there is Marc Begotti, former coach to Olympic medallists Catherine Plewinski and Franck Esposito, and Frédéric Barale, who led Solenne Figuès to the 200m free world title in 2005 but whose access to the national programme ended when Coralie Balmy moved on. Coach Eric Boissiere, who guided the likes of sprinters Julien Sicot and Fabien Gilot, Jean-Lionel Rey, who coached sprinter Malia Metella, and Richard Martinez, who counts Camille Lacourt among his former charges, are among those "locked out".
Australia: Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy launched a campaign this evening Down Under to improve female representation on sports boards after the Australian Sports Commission collected "damning" data. Read more on that at The Australian. Swimming is among sports that is better represented by women, though the statistics are far from being comfortable. In world swimming, the picture is poor at the helm of the sport, with just one woman among the top 30 management positions at FINA, the governing body for five Olympic sports, all including women athletes, one sport, synchro, the exclusive domain of women. Down the ranks, the picture improves: a quarter of all members serving on the Commissions and Committees that FINA advice and knowledge to the ruling Bureau are women. Among the FINA membership are nations (in which federations operate) that exclude women altogether or discriminate against them when it comes to playing an active role in sport, both in the water and in the office. The Constitution of FINA forbids such things, stating in "C4 Discrimination" that the international federation "shall not allow any discrimination against national federations or individuals (competitors, officials, judges, delegates, etc.) on the grounds of race, sex, religion or political affiliations". In swimming, the only remaining gender inequality in the water when it comes to the race schedule is the 800m for women and the 1500m freestyle for men at the Olympic Games.
Brazil: the Confederação Brasileira de Desportos Aquáticos (CBDA) has a dream - a Brazilian woman on the podium in the swimming pool at Rio 2016. Talk is of paying attention to a group of 15 to 17 years olds. The dream is a big one: in 2012, just two Brazilian women made it into the top 50 in the world across all Olympic events, while none made the top 30. In all relays, the best of Brazil's women rank outside the top 30 in the world. Given Brazil's current status, a more realistic goal would be 2020 and beyond when it comes to the biggest podium of them all - but time will tell.