The international federation for water sports has a new name.
The federation that was founded 114 years ago as FINA (the Fédération Internationale de Natation) has become World Aquatics today.
The name was changed at the Extraordinary General Congress held on the eve of the World Swimming Championships (25m) in Melbourne. The delegates at the Congress accepted the proposal and voted on the new name.
World Aquatics, which has 209 national federations in its memberships, will maintain responsibility for all aquatics sports – swimming, water polo, artistic swimming, high diving, and open water swimming.
“The launch of the World Aquatics brand arrives after a series of major reforms that sees a modern organisation ready to lead and serve athletes united by water, with a broader scope and increased engagement with participants and audiences”, the World Aquatics announced today.
“Everyone in our community is proud of what FINA achieved in developing our sports. As we look to the future, World Aquatics will see all aquatics athletes united for the first time under one brand. The identity of our organisation now focuses on our shared vision: a world united by water, for health, life and sport,” said World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam.
Several new World Aquatics Bureau members have been approved at today’s Congress, LEN President and World Aquatics Vice President Antonio Silva confirmed.
One of them is a well-known name in the world of water polo. Vanja Udovicic, one of the best water polo players in the world in the 21st century and former captain of Serbia, has become a Bureau member. Udovicic was Serbia’s captain from 2009 until his retirement in 2013. He served as a Minister of youth and sports of Serbia between 2013 and 2022.
During his career , Udovicic received FINA and LEN awards for being the best player of the year in Europe and world a few times.
The other new FINA Members from Europe are Sarah Keane (Ireland) and Otylia Jędrzejczak (Poland).
The new identity for the global aquatics community came after a comprehensive canvassing of the sports’ key stakeholders, World Aquatics said in the statement.
“I will always tell you that our athletes must come first, so I would never make a big decision like this without consulting our athletes,” Al-Musallam said. “Their response has been very clear. More than seventy percent of the athletes that we have spoken with have said that they would like us to change FINA’s name. Many of them could not even tell us what the letters in FINA stand for.”
The organizational transformation lasted for 18 months, much of it guided by the FINA Reform Committee. World Aquatics said that during this process, the federation had made very significant improvements to its governance, including the strengthening of the athletes’ voice in decision-making.
“World Aquatics will continue to deliver and develop the rewarding competition calendar that has become the foundation of successful elite careers while being the subject of dreams and ambitions for millions of young aquatics athletes all around the globe,” continued Al-Musallam.
“Our new vision and mission also reflect how World Aquatics and our members have already begun expanding our work beyond competition and swimming as a life skill, to include sustainability, environmental advocacy and wellbeing. Our new brand and visual identity will also enable us to connect with new audiences and encourage new generations of athletes across our disciplines to be united by water, safely, fairly and sustainably.”
The new World Aquatics visual identity will be used at the first events of 2023, including the World Championships in all water ports in Fukuoka in July.
“World Aquatics is determined to play its part in ensuring the ability to participate, compete in and benefit from aquatic sports. This ability is dependent on being able to swim and having access to places to swim. Both these things are incredibly important to World Aquatics and our member federations, and it’s right that our new brand should reflect that,” World Aquatics Executive Director Brent Nowicki said.