Response to Open Letter from John Bradley, USA Swimming Board Member

The following is a written response from John Bradley. Bradley wrote this message via e-mail and i present it unedited. It is an answer to the letter and the corresponding petition to the letter

"C - 

I've received your letter and I will ask for an answer on the items you've inquired about.  I can make no guarantee of a response but I can ask and I will ask - looking down the list of people who have signed on as supporters I see that some are people I know in the Central Zone.  I am obligated in my duty as the Central Zone Coaches Rep to try to help.

When you and I spoke last year at the end of the summer one of the things we discussed was how to get involved in USA Swimming.  I have not listened to the conversation recently but I remember asking people to get involved.  I ask again - please get involved.  We need more voices to speak, more people to help, more weight to be lifted.  Swimming needs help in all areas.

I run a statewide coaches association here in Minnesota - there are no dues, no obligations, no real jobs to do.  We meet once a month at a Chinese buffet near the University Aquatic Center.  The food is good and usually the conversation is just as good.  We had thirteen coaches show up for our meeting last month.  I asked how many people were planning on running for a position within our LSC - we have some issues as all LSC's do that the coaches would like to see handled in a different way.  Three people raised their hands.  I was one of the three.  We need more help.  I know everyone is busy but it doesn't change the fact that we still need help.

We need more people to step up within our sport.  Each of us has something to offer.  If you can't step into a leadership role you can help in other areas.  You can help do legwork for your LSC's SafeSport officer.  You can help with meet planning and design.  You can help recruit volunteers.  You can lend your wisdom to any number of items.  We need more people to stand up and help.  That is how we make change happen.  Sometimes it takes time but if you help it can make a difference.

Through the forty-four years I've been involved in swimming as a student, an instructor, a lifeguard, an athlete, an adminsitrator and as a coach I've been lucky to have so many people come into my life who I have learned from and respect.  To those reading - please get involved in some capacity in your team, your LSC/sanctioning body, or at the Zone or National level - we can use your help.

Thank you for the note.  I don't view it as a threat or a danger - I view it as motivation.  We need to be stronger than the the selfish evil that would infiltrate our sport through deception and hurt those we are charged to protect.

Regards - 

John Bradley