Building an Advisory Board: Our Selection Process and Criteria

Building an Advisory Board: Our Selection Process and Criteria

We appreciate the inquiries and questions raised by the open water swimming community regarding our selection process.

We look forward to receiving nominations from a diverse range of individuals who possess a strong passion for and experience in open water swimming, and who are eager to dedicate their time. We are grateful for the overwhelming interest shown so far, and we are committed to carrying out this process step by step in a transparent and ethical manner.

We are currently in stage 3 of the Selection Committee process. We have initially approached several members of the WOWSA Awards Academy who possess extensive expertise and qualifications. 


We are conducting a long-overdue poll to gather insights from the open water swimming community, aimed at understanding the various perspectives and opinions within the sport. It is important to clarify that our objective is not to assume a dominant role but rather to facilitate productive discussions. We value the input of every individual involved in open water swimming and aspire to work collaboratively towards the betterment of the sport.

At the end of the poll, participants are welcome to provide their suggestions or recommend individuals who would be suitable candidates for the advisory board. We will reach out to them and provide the necessary application form.

Selection Committee

1. Creating a Selection Committee: The selection committee members have a solid understanding of the advisory board positions and committees and the unique needs of the sport of open water swimming.

2. Identify Selection Committee Members: We actively seek out individuals who possess the necessary qualifications, knowledge, and experience in open water swimming or the specific committees. We reach out to respected figures within the swimming community,including coaches, officials, association members, and professionals with relevant expertise.

3. Extending Invitations to Potential Selection Committee Members: We invite the identified individuals to join our selection committee. Through clear communication, we ensure they fully understand the purpose and responsibilities of the committee, the expected time commitment, and other pertinent details. We value their interest and wait for their confirmation of availability.

4. Establishing Guiding Principles: We firmly establish our committee’s objectives, scope of work, and decision-making processes. We place great emphasis on maintaining confidentiality, avoiding conflicts of interest, and upholding ethical standards. To aid our committee members in making informed decisions, we provide them with comprehensive resources, materials, and access to relevant information.


1. Conduct a Fair Selection Process: We share the nominations we receive with the selection committee. By establishing clear evaluation criteria based on qualifications, expertise, and suitability outlined in our call for nominations, we ensure a thorough review and assessment process. This may involve reviewing nominations, conducting interviews or reference checks, and engaging in thoughtful deliberations on the nominees’ merits.

2. Making Thoughtful Selections: Based on our committee’s evaluations and in-depth discussions, we make informed decisions regarding the appointment of advisory board members. Furthermore, we consider the importance of diverse representation (globally), and a balanced blend of expertise within our advisory board.

3. Notifying Nominees: We communicate the outcomes of our selection process to the nominees. We provide valuable feedback and constructive insights to those who were not selected.

4 . Orientation and Onboarding: Once our advisory board members are selected, we organize a comprehensive orientation session. This session familiarizes them with their roles, responsibilities, and expectations. We are committed to providing them with support and essential resources to ensure their effectiveness in fulfilling their duties.

Criteria for Advisory Board Positions

Qualifications, skills, and expertise required for advisory board members

Rules and Regulations Committee:

  •     Possesses in-depth knowledge of open water swimming rules and regulations.
  •     Demonstrates extensive experience in participating in open water swims and swimming events.
  •     Shows familiarity with international standards and best practices in open water swimming.

Safety and Risk Management Committee:

  •     Demonstrates extensive experience in open water swimming, including various conditions and environments.
  •     Exhibits an in-depth understanding of safety guidelines and protocols specific to open water swimming.
  •     Has a background in conducting risk assessments and developing emergency response plans for open water events.

Coaching and Education Committee:

  •     Holds a proven track record as an open water swimming coach or instructor.
  •     Brings extensive experience in training open water swimmers of different levels.
  •     Possesses in-depth knowledge of coaching methodologies and best practices in open water swimming.

Communication and Outreach Committee:

  •     Possesses expertise in marketing and communication strategies within the context of open water swimming.
  •     Demonstrates an understanding of the open water swimming community and target audience.
  •     Has experience in promoting open water swimming through social media and other communication channels.

Environmental Committee:

  •     Brings a background in environmental conservation and sustainability.
  •     Possesses knowledge of the ecological impact of open water swimming events and ways to mitigate them.
  •     Has experience in developing and implementing environmentally friendly practices for open water swimming events.

Inclusion and Diversity Committee:

  •     Demonstrates a demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in sports.
  •     Possesses an understanding of the challenges faced by underrepresented groups in open water swimming.
  •     Has experience in developing strategies and initiatives to make the sport more accessible and inclusive.

For the Rules and Regulations Committee, Safety and Risk Management Committee, and Coaching and Education Committee, having committee members with extensive open water swimming experience is mandatory.

For the Communication and Outreach Committee, Environmental Committee, and Inclusion and Diversity Committee, while open water swimming experience is valuable, it is important to have members with expertise in communication, environmental sustainability, and diversity and inclusion issues. These committee positions focus on broader aspects related to the sport, and individuals with relevant skills and knowledge in these areas can contribute effectively.

We want to assure you that our aim is not to create unnecessary bureaucracy, but rather to diligently restructure our organization on a solid foundation. Our intention is to ensure that our processes are thorough and well-considered, enabling us to move forward with confidence. Your understanding and support during this restructuring phase are greatly appreciated as we work towards building a stronger and more effective organization.