Former coach for the Maldives National Swim Team, Ismail Farhan has stated that it is unacceptable for the Swimming Association of Maldives to charge money from members to participate in the association's annual competitions.
During an appearance on the RaajjeTV's "Sports File" program, Farhan revealed that the Swimming Association collects unnecessary fees from members to participate in competitions held by the association.
Highlighting that the state allocates a budget for the association and sponsors such as the Bank of Maldives (BML) finances the national swimming competition, Farhan revealed that the association collects MVR 50 from each member for every event. This adds up to MVR 400 from each member, said Farhan.
Farhan went onto note that swimming has the most similarities with athletics as a sport and stated that the athletics association does not charge any fees from its members to participate in competitions and even awards the winners with cash prizes. He stated that despite the large number of members in the swimming association, cash prizes are only awarded during the national tournament.
Even though the association has invested in infrastructure in the capital and the outer atolls, Farhan stated that the association has greatly neglected the interests of it's members.
While eight platforms have been set up around the country to encourage swimmers, only Addu City has been observed to make efforts to develop the sport, said Farhan.
He further highlighted that other associations conduct Youth Development Programs (YDP) through related sports academies but the swimming does not.
The swimming association conducts YDP in name only, said Farhan, adding that there are currently 300 children enrolled in club training programs even though the association has 10-15 coaches under employment.
The association's management is currently serving it's third term. As such, they have recently announced the association's leadership elections.