Mission / Governance

Swim Ithaca Governance and Bylaws

(updated and approved July 9th, 2014)

Mission statement:

“The mission of Swim Ithaca is to create a community swim program that introduces new swimmers to the sport of competitive swimming and supports swimmers at all levels to reach their greatest potential as competitors. We do this by creating self-esteem and responsibility through a supportive training environment, collaboration among parents, coaches and community members, and camaraderie that pushes each athlete to strive for excellence both in and out of the pool.”

Vision statement:

“Swim Ithaca seeks to support the long-term development of youth competitive swimming in the greater Ithaca area.  We aim to build a club that is welcoming and participatory, with swimmers and swim families actively involved in the shaping and direction of club goals, values, and culture. Over the next five to ten years we seek to develop athletes that will compete successfully at the local, regional and national levels, and grow Swim Ithaca into a recognized leader in supporting swimming and youth development throughout Ithaca and the wider Finger Lakes region.”

Governance and Bylaws:

Primary responsibility for the governance of the club is made up of the Board of Directors (hereafter, ‘the Board’). The Board manages the business of the club and sets its overall direction. Board members are elected on an annual basis and must be: a) a parent or guardian of a registered swimmer on the team; or b) a member of the team coaching or IC staff (see dedicated positions, below).

The Board will consist of 7 positions, and will be elected (on the basis of one vote per registered swimming family plus one vote per team coach) in open elections held in April-May of each year. Board meetings will be held once per month during the active swimming season (preferably at IC and during regular practice hours). With the exception of sensitive personnel issues, official Board meetings will be open meetings that coaches and family members of all registered swimmers are invited to attend. Agendas for the meetings will be circulated in advance, and minutes summarizing discussions circulated afterwards on the team email list.

Outgoing Board members will serve until Aug 15th following the April elections, at which point new members will assume their positions.

The Board shall include 2 reserved positions:

Head Coach or designee:

  • Primary oversight of all training and coaching decisions
  • Hiring (w consent of Board) and coordination of all coaching staff
  • Coordination with IC to ensure continuing good relations and mutual benefit between IC and the team.

IC Facilities Representative or designee:

  • Manage team use of IC facilities
  • Work with Home Meet Coordinator to operate and/or coordinate home meets. 
  • Work with Head Coach to ensure continued good relations and mutual benefit between IC and the team.

The Board shall also include 5 elected positions, with specific roles and responsibilities described below:


  • Oversee and support overall team policies and goals, including development/revision of bylaws and policies.
  • Principal liaison with team coaching staff, as represented by Head Coach.
  • Work with Head Coach and Treasurer to coordinate coaching salaries and overall coaching budget.
  • Review fall/spring/summer meet schedules with Head Coach, Treasurer, and Travel Meet Coordinator to determine team support and participation in upcoming meets.
  • Work with coaches, Treasurer, and other local swimming entities to establish appropriate training schedules and facilities during times when IC clinic is not in session.

Vice President:

  • Serve in role of President when President cannot be present.
  • Work with coaches to establish internal recognition programs, annual awards banquets, etc.
  • Publicity, outreach, and recruiting.
  • Board liaison to Apparel Coordinator for purchases of caps, t-shirts, etc.
  • Work with President to distribute workload and coordinate any or all of the above responsibilities.


  • Coordinate club and USA Swimming registrations and payments.
  • Develop budget and recommend fee schedules.
  • Collect and disburse funds, including payments to coaches.
  • Publish quarterly/annual financial statements.
  • Provide financial updates and input at monthly Board discussions.


  • Schedule, circulate agenda, and record minutes of monthly Board meetings.
  • Convene annual Board elections in April-May of each year.
  • Primary liaison between Board and wider team (including through email updates, website, minutes and agendas, etc.).
  • Work with Communications Coordinator to develop and update materials on team website.
  • Conduct annual parent surveys.

External Swim Liaison:

  • Coordinate with local leagues (STSL), Niagara District, and USA Swimming.
  • Outreach and coordination with other area swimming entities (other teams, high school programs, lessons programs, etc.).

In addition, there are non-Board roles and positions vital to the running of the club. Each of these will have an official coordinator, but responsibilities for action may be spread among a wider group of volunteers.

Apparel Coordinator:

  • Coordinate team equipment and apparel orders.
  • Work with Board, swimmers, parents, and coaches to develop graphical representations, design, logos, etc.

Communications Coordinator:

  • Coordinate and update materials on team website.

Award and Party Queens:

  • Coordinate team parties and events
  • Coordinate club award programs

Travel Meet Coordinator:

  • Coordinate team hotel reservations for meets requiring an overnight stay.
  • Share schedule, reminders, instructions and driving directions to upcoming meets.

Home Meet Coordinator:

  • Coordinate registration and parental volunteers for any home meets (concessions, officials, etc.)
  • Work with coaching staff, Board (External Swim Organization Liaison), and outside entities to coordinate meet entries and swimmer registration.

Fund-raising coordinator:

  • Work with Board (esp. Treasurer), parents, and coaches to establish fund-raising needs and goals.
  • Coordinate specific fund-raising efforts.

Additional principles governing Board procedures, roles and responsibilities:

  • Board should act as an effective conduit between parents and coaching staff, conveying and managing parental input and concerns, while supporting the coaching program. The board MAY provide input on overall training questions (e.g. frequency and scheduling of training) including from a budgetary perspective, but should NOT intervene in individual training or coaching decisions.
  • Board should ensure continued good relations between the team, Ithaca College, and other local facilities.
  • Board should work with other local swim entities (other teams, high school and college programs, lessons programs, etc.) to: a) support entry of new swimmers to the sport, and b) ensure positive and mutually supportive relations across the Ithaca swim community as a whole.
  • Board will make every effort to operate by consensus. Where consensus is impossible, decisions will be taken by simple majority vote.
  • Selection of meets to be supported by team funds will be made upon advisement of coaching staff and approval of the board. In instances where the team cannot provide support (e.g., pay for a traveling coach), the External Swim Organization Liaison will work with other area swim entities to identify coaches of other teams who may be able to provide deck supervisions of ISWM swimmers.
  • All matters involving training and coaching are the primary responsibility of the coaching staff as overseen by the Head Coach. On such issues, Board decisions must include support of the Head Coach. This includes the selection of all clinic and team coaches.
  • Board will meet once per month during active swimming season, preferably at IC and during regularly scheduled practice or clinic time.
  • All official Board meetings will be open to the public. Agendas of upcoming meetings and minutes of past board meetings will be circulated on the team email list.
  • To the fullest extent possible, the Board will act on the basis of input and participation from swimmers, coaches, and parents, and the wider swimming community to support a positive, collaborative, and participatory environment in which all members (swimmers, parents, coaches) have input and responsibility for the running of the club.