Introducing the Athlete Bill of Rights

by Alyssa Jacobs

ATHLETE BILL OF RIGHTS: Visual - Printable | Visual - Digital Viewing |  Official Rulebook - Appendix T

 - After a several months-long process to refine and craft a document that would encompass the rights of athletes within USA Artistic Swimming, the organization has released an official Athlete Bill of Rights. The creation process was directed by the organization’s Athletes Executive Council, led by president, collegiate athlete and former national team member Emmanuella Tchakmakjian, through a series of collaborative meetings with the council. Additionally, the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion committee assisted in the drafting process. In the end, the Athlete Bill of Rights was delivered as an all-encompassing document to the USAAS Board of Directors for feedback. Through a few tweaks and technical changes to allow it to be officially adopted into the USA Artistic Swimming rulebook, the document is now public for membership and external groups to view, share and celebrate.USA Artistic Swimming hopes to be a catalyst for change in the quest to make the sport of artistic swimming more inclusive and safe sport for all. 

"Our organization exists because of our athletes.  They are the priority from the time they first try the sport until they opt to retire from the sport.  Our focus to enhance their safety and well-being in recent years has provided us opportunities to become leaders in areas such as SafeSport, background checks, one-third athlete representation on our board and committees, and now with the athlete-generated Athlete Bill of Rights.  I am extremely proud of our organization's athlete leaders and the responsibilities they have assumed," Denise Shively, USAAS Board of Directors President, said. 

USA Artistic Swimming athletes have the right to pursue a safe, rewarding and enjoyable athletic career. USA Artistic Swimming acknowledges that these rights have not been comprehensively realized in the past and we are deeply apologetic for the negative impact that has had on athletes in the sport,” CEO of USA Artistic Swimming, Adam Andrasko said.We are better and we invite you to help us continue to make our sport better. I’m extremely proud of the work done by our Athletes Executive Council to create this document that explicitly outlines our values and priorities for our athletes as an organization.” 

Tremendous credit to the members of the Athletes Executive Council who led this process. 

Emmanuela Tchakmakjian
Morgan Fuller Kolsrud
Megan Robins
Lauren McFall Gardner
Carrie Barton Garten
Bill May
Ivy Davis
Leah Ryzenman
Heather Ding
Zoe Tomlinson
Mariya Koroleva

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