National – The SASA Council
Over the years since 1888, the composition and structure of the S.A.S.A. Council has changed to reflect the more general changes taking place in society and the swimming world in particular.
In 1893, the Handbook of that year defines the membership of Council – Rule VIII – “That each Local Centre shall be represented on the Council by one Member for every three Clubs affiliated to their Centre, a fraction of two to be entitled to a representative. Bath attendants may be Members of Council”.
From 1888 to 1993, Council had sole responsibility for the management of the business of the S.A.S.A., the structure of Council was President, General Secretary, General Treasurer and District Representatives (2/District).
The “daily” business of the Association has been the delegated responsibility of the “sub” Committees of the Council, which had had more specific duties/responsibilities and composition.
From the 1974 Handbook: Executive Committee – President, General Secretary and General Treasurer – to transact all urgent business between Council Meetings. Emergency Committee – The Executive and one member from each District – to meet when necessary at the request of the Executive and decide on any urgent business placed before them.
Before and after the significant structural/organisational changes of 1992 and until 2003, the “Standing Committees” of the S.A.S.A. carried out the business of the following: Age Group Swimming, Development, Diving, Education, Emergency, Executive, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Technical Training Swimming Officials, Water Polo. All work carried out as the Delegated Responsibilities from/of the Council.
Whilst the S.A.S.A. Presidents held post for a year, except on a few occasions for specific reasons, the General Secretaries and the General Treasurers, in many cases, had long terms in office and were what provided the consistent and sound base for Council business and the development of the Association and the aquatic disciplines.
As said, Presidents come and go on a regular basis, but over the years have formed friendships and shared stories and experiences by forming a “Past Presidents Association”, the focus of which is the Annual “Past Presidents Dinner”. Prior to 1972, there were no women present at these dinners, with wives/partners going shopping followed by the theatre, allowing the men the privacy of dinner and business. After Mary Black was elected President, that all changed !!