Announcing Our New WOWSA Advisory Board

Announcing Our New WOWSA Advisory Board

At the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA), we recently embarked on a journey to create our advisory board.

To ensure fairness and representation, we turned to RankedVote, a powerful voting plugin we used during the WOWSA Awards that combines simplicity with accuracy. With dozens of exceptional candidates vying for positions on the advisory board, we needed a robust system to facilitate the selection process.

Committee Chairs & Selection Committee

Our selection committee consisted of six dedicated and knowledgeable members, who will serve as Chairs of their respective committees. The WOWSA Advisory Board Committee Chairs are:

  • Joe Zemaitis (USA) —  Rules & Regulations
  • Nuala Moore (Ireland) – Safety & Risk Management
  • Mohamed Marouf (Egypt) – Coaching & Education
  • Hans Henrik Heming (Denmark) – Environmental
  • Lucas Rivet (Argentina) – Communications & Outreach
  • Christine Coppola (USA) – Diversity & Inclusion

Drawing on their expertise and commitment to the sport, they assessed the qualifications, experiences, and aspirations of each candidate across all 6 committees. This approach ensured  the decision-making process remained fair, unbiased, and inclusive. Each selection committee member was given the opportunity to rank candidates in order of preference. This ranked voting system allowed for a more nuanced representation of their choices, ensuring that the final outcomes truly reflected the collective voice of the committee.

Committee Assignments:

The results also facilitated the allocation of committee assignments and the appointments of Vice Chairs. Taking into account qualifications and interests, this process ensured that each committee received a diverse and dedicated group of individuals, ready to contribute their expertise and passion.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our new WOWSA advisory board members:


Advisory Board

WOWSA Advisory Committees

Rules and Regulations Committee: Reviewing rules and regulations for open water swimming events and competitions, ensuring compliance with international standards and best practices. This committee may also be responsible for addressing rule violations and disputes that arise during swims and events.

Chair: Joe Zemaitis
Vice Chairs:
Edith Van Dijik & Kevin Murphy

Safety and Risk Management Committee: Reviewing safety guidelines and protocols for open water swimming events and competitions, ensuring the safety of swimmers and support crews. This committee may also be responsible for conducting risk assessments and developing contingency plans for emergency situations.

Chair: Nuala Moore
Vice Chairs:
Kathleen Wilson & Jorge Pereira

Coaching and Education Committee: Reviewing programs to support the education and training of open water swimmers and coaches, promoting the sharing of knowledge and best practices, and providing guidance and resources to individuals and organizations involved in open water swimming. This committee may also be responsible for developing standards and certifications for coaches and other professionals involved in the sport.

Chair: Mohamed Marouf
Vice Chairs:
Shannon Keegan & Bill McCracken

Communication and Outreach Committee: Reviewing marketing and communication strategies to increase public awareness of open water swimming, attract new participants, and support the growth of the sport. This committee will also monitor and address concerns around the promotion of false information or questionable practices related to the sport, particularly through social media and other online channels.

Chair: Lucas Rivet
Vice Chairs:
David Rich & Jaime Lomelin

Environmental Committee: Reviewing environmental sustainability and stewardship in open water swimming, raising awareness about the impact of human activities on aquatic ecosystems, and identifying ways to minimize the environmental footprint of open water swimming events. This committee may also be responsible for developing guidelines and best practices for sustainable open water swims and event planning and management.

Chair: Hans Henrik H. Heming
Vice Chairs:
Barbara Hernandez & Doug Woodring

Inclusion and Diversity Committee: Supporting diversity and inclusion in open water swimming, and developing strategies to ensure that the sport is accessible and welcoming to individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. This committee may also be responsible for addressing issues related to discrimination and harassment within the sport.

Chair: Christine Coppola
Vice Chairs:
James Pittar