June 25, 2019
Dear Canadian Masters Swimmers,
Masters swimming has grown over the past 40 years through the efforts of dedicated masters volunteers. We once had an organization running the business of masters swimming, bringing together all provinces, clubs and swimmers. It was an organization in which we took great pride.
Now, however, our national organization has been left in shambles. In its letters dated May 29 and June 13, Swim Canada (SNC) announced its intention to take full control of our sport. Yet SNC is a high-performance driven organization that cannot adequately serve the interests of masters swimming since the two streams have drastically different goals and definitions of success.
As a former Canadian Olympian, I have benefited from excellent high-performance programs. My masters swimming experience, however, is best served by an organization run by masters, for masters.
Ian and I are also masters club owners and coaches. We are pleased to be part of a group that’s rebuilding our national organization. Our goal is simple: bring together masters swimmers from across Canada. We want to unite what has sadly become a fractured organization of our sport.
Canadian Independent Masters Swimming is a group of experienced leaders who have been involved in masters swimming for many years. We invite Provincial Masters Organizations (PMOs), clubs and swimmers to join us as we work together to rebuild our sport.
Our group has reached out to MSC several times. If any of the MSC leadership is willing to work with us to establish a truly independent national Masters organization, we welcome them to join in our efforts.
With the assistance of Masters Swimming Ontario, which has been successfully operating independently for two years, we are preparing the systems required by clubs across the county to operate as a masters community, host swim meets and welcome new members.
Canadian Independent Masters Swimming will soon be ready to accept affiliation and registration for the 2019-2020 season. Our programs, as developed, will focus exclusively on masters-aged swimmers.
Some of the services to be offered include:
- affordable membership rates
- a national masters-only registration system;
- insurance, for clubs, swimmers, volunteers, and swim events;
- a meet registration system (pool and OWS);
- an annual Canadian championship competition;
- a national database of swim meet results, records, and rankings in all events;
- support for coaches and clubs alike;
- the MEGAmetre Tracker – Swimmers can easily transfer their metres over from other systems and continue tracking their distances;
- guidance to help clubs move to the new systems that are being put in place;
- support for novice/learn-to-swim adults interested in joining our sport;
- support for adult swimmers with disabilities.
The challenge is not small, but the time is now for masters swimmers to unite under a masters-driven organization.
We aim to be an organization independent of Swim Canada, with the goal of building masters swimming at all levels of participation across the country. We will recognize and celebrate the needs of masters swimmers — fun, fitness, friendship, and friendly competition. Together we can rebuild the sport we love.
With that in mind we invite you to add your name to our growing contact list at http://canadianmastersswimmers.ca/. Notifications will be going out soon with more information.
So…start planning. Share this letter. Talk to your club and PMOs. Join us as we work to put a full 2019-2020 program in place for September.
We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrea Schwartz-Smith Ian Feldman
B-Train Thornhill Masters Aquatics Club