Masters Swimming in Ontario will Change in 2017-2018: A return to the roots of Masters Swimming
The 2016-2017 has been a challenge for Masters swimming in Ontario and certainly for MSO. Although MSO had been organizing Masters swimming and sanctioning meets in Ontario for over forty years, MSO lost its sanctioning authority in September 2016. In January 2017, Swim Canada, with MSC’s full support, ceased to recognize MSO and Ontario clubs and swimmers.
Even though MSO’s clubs and swimmers were cut off from all other swimming bodies in Canada, our independent insurance coverage allowed training and competition to continue. Swimmers from other provinces could, and did, come to Ontario competitions including the Provincial Championship – the largest meet in Canada this year.
Swim Canada and MSC have firmly indicated that they will not review or discuss their decisions and that no further discussions or negotiations with MSO are possible. For September 2017, Swim Canada, again with MSC’s full support, has mandated that SO will directly control Masters swimming competition in Ontario.
Accordingly, for the forthcoming 2017-2018 season, MSO will refocus its efforts completely on the original purposes of Masters swimming, back to where Masters swimming started 40 years ago – Fun, Fitness, Friendship – and at a very low cost to swimmers and clubs. MSO will operate a fully insured, adult swim league, independent of both Swim Canada and MSC. The emphasis will be on the fitness and social side of adult swimming, and developing programs to help clubs achieve the original vision of our founders.
Clubs will be encouraged to host MSO-sanctioned meets using current masters rules and focused on fun and friendship. Our non-competitive or less competitive swimmers, who make up the vast majority of the MSO membership, will be encouraged to participate, if they wish.
Initial fees will be at their current level: only $10 per swimmer and a club fee of $45. There will be no meet sanctioning fees. Clubs and swimmers will continue to benefit from the same insurance coverage available today.
75-80% of MSO swimmers do not compete. But MSO understands that some members are focused on competing in meets sanctioned within the FINA system and they will likely join the new structure being developed by Swim Ontario. However, all swimmers and clubs, including those planning to register with SO, will continue to be welcome in MSO as they always have been. Together we keep the true masters swimming spirit alive.<
We see this coming year as a transition year. Let’s see where it takes us.
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