Swim league to be launched in Australia
A privately-run swimming league to be launched in Australia next year will lift the sport to new heights.
Swimming Australia's head coach Rohan Taylor says the Australian Swimming League (ASL) will offer regular elite competition in a boost to the sport in the nation. The ASL will be a club-based competition with an annual draft. Each club will have a set number of swimmers, split evenly between males and females, and include junior and multi-class athletes.
The ASL is planned to launch in October next year and will stage meets around Australia, offering prize money in a made-for-television format.
"The ASL is absolutely fantastic news for Australian swimming," Taylor said in a statement on Monday.
"From a coaching perspective, an annual professional league will offer regular elite competition to drive performance outcomes and provide a vital opportunity for Australia's best emerging talent to compete against our finest swimmers.
"With prize money on the line ... I anticipate every round will be hotly contested and will offer viewers action-packed racing where the level of competition will see Australian swimming go to new heights."
The new league will be privately-owned and operated with the backing of Swimming Australia (SA).
"Outside of major international events, it is important for Swimming Australia to create a high-profile domestic platform to showcase our current and future stars," SA chief executive Alex Baumann said in a statement.
"We are delighted to be working with the ASL to establish an annual made for broadcast league that will provide high level competition for our swimmers while entertaining a broad audience."
The new league follows similar privately-run swim competitions launched in recent years around the world, most notably the International Swimming League, where swimmers are drafted into the team-based competition.
A raft of high-profile Australian swimmers including Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers and Cate Campbell have competed in the ISL.