Two leading British swimmers have said the defunct International Swimming League should be resurrected in the future, albeit with some changes.
The league was backed initially by Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Grigorishin and saw team franchises based on locations compete across a series with elevated prize money.
It was thought to have been the start of mass private investment and equity in swimming but the league was cancelled in March 2022 after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Swimming needs to be sexier
But British 200m freestyle world champion gold medallist Matt Richards and Olympic silver medallist in the same discipline Duncan Scott have suggested a International Swimming League comeback wouldn’t be the worst idea.
“Yes, 100 per cent [I want it back], Richards tells City A.M. “It is something that needs to be done in the sport to take it to a new place.
“Swimming is a sport that has been run and continues to be run the same way it always has been, by the same people, and it is stagnating and staying the same as it has always been.
“It needs something fresh and something new to come in and shake the sport up and make it sexier and more mainstream.
Maybe focus on World Cups?
“That does take something radical like the ISL was. The potential is fantastic but if it came back we would need a better voice as athletes, maybe a collective board or union.”
Richards and Scott, both Speedo athletes, will head to the British Championships in April looking to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games in Paris with a World Championships in Doha sandwiched between the two.
“The fundamentals [of the ISL] were good,” Scott adds. “The whole idea of making swimming a team sport was a good idea and a majority of athletes loved it.
“The idea was interesting. Swimming continually needs to improve and move with the times. The World Cups might be better [to look at too].”
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