wimming Australia has announced the appointment of interim CEO, Eugenie Buckley, as the organisation’s new permanent CEO, following the departure of Alex Baumann immediately following the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Announcing Buckley as the new CEO, Swimming Australia president, Kieren Perkins, said after leading the organisation for the past two months, Buckley’s “strategic vision and action orientated approach impressed the board”.
“It was clear very early on that Eugenie [Buckley] was someone with incredible ability to build and execute a strategy for Australian Swimming,” Perkins said.
“Her passion for the sport, and not just the administration and athletes but the wider community of member organisations, stakeholders and fans was infectious.
“She is a modern leader with a people first attitude and the business acumen to ensure swimming is on the right trajectory heading towards Paris in three years, but also with an eye to Brisbane 2032.
“Her experience speaks for itself and we have seen that with her calm and measured approach to the challenges swimming is facing.
“With our strategic plan nearing finalisation we felt Eugenie was the right person to lead us through this transformative period and further build our sport into an industry leader,” he said.
On her new permanent role, Buckley said: “I feel like Swimming is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us in this next period.”
“We have just come off an incredible Olympic and Paralympic campaign in Tokyo, with our Olympic squad having their best performance ever, so we are well positioned for success in the pool.
“With Brisbane 2032 on the horizon, the chance to lead the sport through this next growth phase is exciting.
“Our strategy focuses on how we can develop our business, both at the national level but also with our member organisations and stakeholders, to ensure swimming is the number one Olympic sport in Australia.
“There are a lot of passionate people within the swimming community and I look forward to tackling the challenges and embracing the future together,” Buckley said.
The appointment comes as Swimming Australia has withdrawn its support for the new Australian Swimming League (ASL) after ASL founder and principal owner, David Brandi, was convicted of tax fraud and disqualified from managing corporations for five years.
When the ASL was first announced, Swimming Australia entered a strategic partnership with the new competition, which was proposed as a club-based competition under a license model with each team to be represented by a set number of swimmers.
A Swimming Australia spokesperson told said: “Swimming Australia has suspended our support of the ASL whilst we await further information requested from their management off the back of the weekend’s report and into other commercial programs needed to ensure the financial stability and success of the league.”
The ASL has not yet revealed any major commercial partners, licensed teams, participating athletes, or broadcast partnerships, despite initially stating the competition would begin in late 2022.