Pivotal Forum Held at the World Aquatics Championships - Doha 2024

On Monday 12 February, World Aquatics made important progress towards a shared understanding of important issues that are vital to athletes, coaches, and National Federations by hosting a landmark Forum onsite at the World Aquatics Championships – Doha 2024.  

During the Forum, key aspects of health and wellbeing were covered, with athletes, experts and representatives of the Aquatics Community leading the discussions.

These included Amber Keegan, a British open water swimmer competing at Doha 2024, Rohan Taylor, Head Coach of the Australian Dolphins, and Dr. Alan Currie – a consultant psychiatrist specializing in Regional Affective Disorders. Renowned TV host, John Mason, served as the Master of Ceremonies. 

Health and wellbeing are an essential part of sport’s wider promise. World Aquatics is committed to ensuring it is a leader in this domain, best serving the sport’s participants. The Forum is just one of the initiatives demonstrating the importance that World Aquatics places on these topics, recognizing that individuals perform best when they feel safe, supported and empowered. 

World Aquatics First Vice-President Sam Ramsamy attended the beginning of the Forum where he was able to meet and speak with several attendees and emphasise the importance of the Forum and its topics.

Speaking about the Forum, British open water swimmer Amber Keegan stated;   

“When championing health and wellbeing, hearing the perspectives of athletes, coaches and National Federations is essential. It is a team effort to cultivate a community where everyone feels valued, supported and empowered. We have to find solutions that work for everyone, and the Forum allows us to have these conversations and to align on responsibilities, paving the way for an effective path forward.” 

Head Coach of the Australian Dolphins, Rohan Taylor commented;  

“The wellbeing of athletes and their support staff is paramount. When athletes feel safe and supported, they can truly thrive, both on and off the field of play. Crucial to this is the creation of an inclusive environment within our sporting communities, where every member can navigate challenges effectively and realise their full potential. The Forum serves as an invaluable initiative that allows us to collaboratively discuss what that environment looks like and how it can be achieved.” 

Leading consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Alan Currie said; “Prioritizing mental health is a collective responsibility for all. Whether you are a coach, athlete, team doctor, physiotherapist, team manager, psychiatrist or a psychologist, we all have a part to play in ensuring the wellbeing of our community is protected and that everyone is given the chance to thrive, to stay healthy, to get help if and when they need it and to fulfil their goals.” 

“This Forum is a pivotal moment, showing our commitment as we prioritise the wellbeing of our aquatics community. The World Aquatics slogan is “A world united by water for health, life and sport”, and this Forum represents exactly that. Together, we can work to ensure that all members of our community have the resources and support they need to perform at their best.”

By World Aquatics President  Husain Al-Musallam

In addition to the Forum, World Aquatics has established a dedicated space at the ‘Athletes Lounge’ in the main competition area at the Aspire Dome, in line with the activities and initiatives. This includes a relaxation room and access for athletes to a premium account on the Calm App throughout their time at the World Aquatics Championships. 

Throughout the competition, athletes, coaches and National Federations have also had the opportunity to attend a wide-ranging variety of workshops dedicated to mental health and well-being onsite. World Aquatics are offering sixteen different workshops between 4-17 February in Doha, Qatar. 

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