Statement in Response to Recent Allegations Regarding BSCA Member, Mr Rob Greenwood

Posted on October 23, 2017

The British Swimming Coaches Association (BSCA) as body represents swimming coaches the length & breadth of the British Isles. It has within its membership coaches who are committed volunteers and those for whom the activity is their livelihood, regardless of the level they operate at within the sport.

Whilst we will, as a benefit of membership offer representation to any member who requires our support, we also take a wider view, recognising that we also have a responsibility to the activity and profession of swimming coaching in this country, let alone the sport itself.

As a result when any allegations are made against a member we believe it is our responsibility to ensure that we consider all facts available to us and where necessary do our own research to ascertain the best course of action for all concerned, as well as considering whether the BSCA can & should continue to offer its support, given the above.

Like any sensible & reasonable body, we do not wish to have unsuitable or inappropriate adults, working with swimmers in the UK or elsewhere. However we will only act against a member if their “unsuitability & inappropriateness” are proven.

The BSCA has been acutely aware recent Press & Media speculation regarding the above member. We have been offering support & representation to him through this long affair and continue to do so. So that there is no doubt, we wish it to be known that the BSCA as a body, continues to give Rob Greenwood its full support & backing, whilst there is no ‘proven’ evidence to the contrary.

It is imperative for all parties to be aware that at the time that this document is being written, neither Rob Greenwood, nor the BSCA have had sight of the report that the press & media have referred to. He was categorically told that he had no such right to see it and has only been given a redacted summary of conclusions and outcomes, without any substantiation of these.

It is for this reason alone that he has not responded publicly as he simply has not been able to. It is important to note then, that these are STILL all allegations. He has not faced any criminal or disciplinary action and has NOT been found guilty of anything.

Whilst we have been told that this matter and that this report was highly confidential, has not & would not be distributed, it is clear that it has managed to get into the hands of reporters, and certain parties, including at least one complainant, given statements made on the BBC news.

In coming to their decision the BSCA has considered many factors but in short were influenced by some key points. A BBC report cited pressure training as an example of the negative & fearful culture that allegedly prevailed. The English Institute of Sport (EIS) have countered this however by stating thus on the 16th October 2017 “In this instance, the programme was designed with input from athletes at a series of workshops and intended, at their request, to help produce training conditions that felt more like a competition situation.”

“All practitioners operating within the high performance system are required to meet the standards set out in the Professional Code of Conduct which requires them to place the athlete’s health and welfare at the heart of everything that they do. Confidentiality is an element of this. There is nothing to indicate that any practice in this case did not meet the high standards set.”

The fact that such a reputable body as the EIS have felt compelled to issue such a statement suggests that their views were not sought by the independent investigation team when considering whether such allegations had merit. This is a very serious omission and as such undermines the whole  context within which these matters and evidence provided by all sides has been considered.

A further point to consider here is the status of the position of Head Coach of a National High Performance Programme. No such post holder operates alone, they have around them on a daily basis, other performance coaches, physiotherapists, medical staff, sports psychologists, sports science & conditioning staff, nutritionists and staff responsible for athlete welfare & support. These are highly qualified, experienced and professional individuals, working in an environment for a National Federation where it is made clear that only Gold will do from the professional athletes they have worked with.
No such post holder will and is able, to operate in isolation, so they should not be left to deal with
such & be held responsible for such alone. That is simply not fair.

The BSCA will not remark further upon any specific details but continues to offer what support it can to Mr Greenwood.

Notes for Editors
For further information please contact call 01527 871626.
The BSCA was formed in 1965 and has undergone numerous changes since that time. It now has teaching and coaching member within clubs, schools, universities, local authorities and employees of Governing bodies at all levels of the sport. It represents the views of, and offers support to, both the voluntary and professional sectors of our sport. To manage this, the BSCA has a network of representatives operating locally throughout the UK and at the opposite end of the scale, it has officers who sit upon the Board of World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA).

comments powered by Disqus

Back to news