SWIMMING CANADA STATEMENT
An integral part of Swimming Canada’s mission is to inspire Canadians to be active and healthy. Masters Swimmers are the embodiment of this. Swimming Canada recognizes that Masters Swimmers are magnificent ambassadors and advocates for our sport, both with their friends and families, and within the community at large. Whether training for fitness or to compete, all Masters Swimmers are an essential part of the Swimming Canada family.
Swimming Canada aims to provide the best possible support to the Masters Swimming community, working collaboratively with the provincial sections, to provide meet sanctioning, coach certification, official certification, club services, insurance, etc. Swimming Canada’s close relationship with our international partners provides recognition of Swimming Canada events and of our member Swimmers’ performances.
February 24, 20201
Swimming Canada and its provincial partners continue to follow closely the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic within each province. The pandemic continues to impact access to pools, training, coaching and our swimming community. Decisions surrounding the 2021 Canadian Masters Swimming Championships will be finalised mid-March. We are all hopeful that Masters Swimmers will return to training however we are considerate of the health and safety of all of our members.
Swimming Canada will continue to offer programming to Masters Swimmers through 2020 performance recognition, swimmer and club acknowledgement and challenges.
Until we meet again on the pool deck remember the power of a smile and a kind word.
February 17, 2021
Meet the Downtown Swim Club
The Downtown Swim Club was created in 1987 and presently has about 125 members between the ages of 19 to 85 years. They identify themselves as the LGBTQ2S+ and Allies swim club in Toronto. While the DSC does not actively promote their club at this time, those who are looking for an LGBT team tend to find them fairly easily from their website or word of mouth.
There is a strong emphasis on the social component to swimming with DSC, so you will often find members socializing after practice. Though they have not done formal training camps or trips as a club, many members who met through the club travel together to train, compete and explore the world
Member recognition is important at DSC, there is an annual holiday celebration with awards to recognize both serious and fun achievements. Shout outs are given to fellow members throughout the year in their bi-monthly newsletter.
In 2020, prior to COVID-19, DSC hosted its first swim meet in many years and had started a program of stroke clinics for members and the broader masters community. The club is looking forward to growing its membership after the pandemic and pursuing the recently implemented activities.
As stated on the home page of their web site, “DSC is more than a swim club, it is a community”. They are proud of their very strong social community of people who support one another. A great example of this was when the club shut down due to COVID-19, in March of 2020, refunds were offered. Only 10% of our members asked for the refund so that they could continue paying our coaches to support them through the difficult time. DSC also has amazing coaches, including a mix of knowledgeable members of the club and U of T varsity swimmers. DSC’s head coach, Gaël Chaubet, was the recipient of the Swimming Canada Masters Excellence in Coaching (2020) award.
Looking towards the future, the hope is to get members back into the water as much as possible in the upcoming season.
February 10, 2021
A very interesting article was published recently by the Sports Information Resource Center (SIRC) located in Ottawa. The article, entitled Giving Due Deliberation to Masters Athletes: The Time has Come provides an overview of what researchers have learned about programming for enhancing Masters Athletes’ sport experiences, focusing on themes that have resonated with sport programmers and coaches in their recent webinars. They specifically discuss the valuable role of a coach and adult-tailored coaching approaches, and the emergence of practical tools for coaches to hone these approaches in their craft.
February 3, 2021
Meet John McIntyre, Downtown Swim Club
John McIntyre is a 32-year-old gay man (he/him) living in downtown Toronto and swimming with the Downtown Swim Club. He is happily partnered without kids (…also happily), but is a proud uncle to 3. John works full-time as a health law lawyer, working primarily with hospitals and healthcare practitioners.
John was a self-described band geek in high school – not athletic at all. In fact, he almost failed his Bronze Cross certification at the start of high school due to the timed swim requirement! Randomly in grade 12 John decided to try out for the high school swim team to do something different and there he fell in love with swimming. His school relay team made OFSAA and he was hooked. John then went to McMaster University and the varsity coach allowed him to train with the team and swim time trials at meets, despite not being fast enough to compete for the team. John quit partway through second year as he became too busy with other commitments at school and it was clear that he was still far from being able to compete with the team. John’s goal had been to one day break 1 minute in the 100 free, but the fastest he ever went at the time was 1.04.
In his late 20s John started thinking about swimming again, but work kept him busy and none of the pools were nearby. Then finally in January 2019 he “pulled the trigger” and decided to jump in the water with DSC, the LGBTQ2S+ and Allies swim club in Toronto. He found DSC to be an open and welcoming club. He started at just one swim a week and within a month was regularly swimming four days a week. John had not intended to compete, but one of his friends on the team convinced him to try in February at the small Burlington splash meet and he was hooked! John went to every meet he could in 2019 and quickly improved to the point that he was somehow faster than he had been 12 years earlier at University. Within 3 months he broke his goal of the minute in the 100 free and by Nationals he had gone 57.26. John continued to train closely with Swimming Canada Masters Excellence in Coaching (2020) award recipient, Gaël Chaubet, and his training partner, Ed Loh, and went to the World Masters Championships in Gwangju, South Korea in the summer 2019. John is now certain he will spend the rest of his life swimming.
DSC thankfully trains later in the evenings and weekends, so he can easily work it around his job. But certainly when he was training 4 times a week and going to the gym, life was largely swim, work and sleep. John tracks his trainings using an excel spreadsheet with all his race times at meets. He then tracks all of his practices and, for the main set, he records his times so that he can track his improvement and make changes to his training if needed.
Prior to COVID, John was training at the gym twice a week and would try to do one cross training activity a week – yoga, spinning or rollerblading. At the onset of COVID John took the first two months off then started swimming with a tether in his parents’ backyard pool. Then, when it was warm enough to swim in the nearby lake, he bought a wetsuit and started rollerblading to the lake and swimming regularly. Then when the outdoor pools opened in Toronto he started doing the same there (as open water swimming just isn’t the same for him). DSC started operating again in October with one swim a week per swimmer, and he was able to get in at some public lane swims. Unfortunately, since the most recent lockdown, he has been unable to swim at all and instead is using tension cords in his dryland routine to keep up his muscle memory.
John competes as much as he can. He loves the opportunity to meet other swimmers from different backgrounds and continually try to improve his swimming times. His favourite part of swim meets are the relays with teammates – it just gets his adrenaline going more than anything else!
Because of how much he has gained from the DSC club, John ran for the Board and has been serving as the Co-Chair since November 2019. John particularly loves DSC because it offers a great environment for competitive and non-competitive swimmers alike, while putting a significant emphasis on ensuring all swimmers are accepted. John is also a member of the Swimming Canada Masters Committee and is a Level 2 swimming official.
John continues to swim because of how great it makes him feel and its positive impact on his mental health, as well as the strong community of friends he has made while swimming.
John says he always feel the most at home in the water. It is the one place where his brain shuts down entirely and he feels most relaxed. “Swimming is the inspiration for my recent tattoo of a lighthouse on a little rock island in the middle of a body of water – because when I am in the water I feel like I always knows my direction. “
January 20, 2021
Meet Carli Tyson, YMCA Calgary Masters, by Lenise Kerr
January 6, 2021
Meet the White Rock Wave
December 31, 2020
Looking back at the 2020 season there is still cause to rejoice and celebrate Masters swimming in Canada.
41 new Canadian Records were set by our swimmers from January 1st to March 1st. Congratulations to Hella Versfeld, Madeleine Sévigny, Sarah MacDonald, Mae Waldie, Carl Waterer, Karl Donoghue, Detlev Grabs, Jack Kelso, Chris Daniels, Pat O’Brien and Ron Armstrong for their individual achievements. Congratulations to the men’s relay team from Hera Blue Swim Club on their Canadian Record.
In May we announced the recipients of the first Swimming Canada Masters Swimming Awards. Excellence in Coaching was awarded to Gaël Chaubet of DSC, Excellence in Swimming was awarded to Kalis Rasmussen of EOMAC and Pablo Conde of MACC and Long-Term Contribution was awarded to Charlie Lane of EOMAC. Congratulations again to our recipients.
2021 will provide new opportunities to swim; in our club pools, in our back yards, in lakes and the ocean, when the water calls Masters Swimmers will return. Until then, be well and be safe.
December 23, 2020
Meet the Blue Boyz Club and the Pink Ladies by Nancy Thibault, Natation Ste-Foy Haute St-Charles
December 9, 2020
Meet Shannon Roen, YMCA Calgary Masters
November 25, 2020
Meet Joy Friesen, Prince Albert Sharks Swim Club
November 11, 2020
Meet Linda Stanley Wilson, White Rock Waves
October 28, 2020
Meet Vona MacMillan, Campbelton Aquatika Club
October 14, 2020
Meet Detlev Grabs, Mégophias Trois-Rivières
September 30, 2020
Meet Shane MacMillan, Barrie Trojans Masters Swim Club
September 1, 2020
Welcome to Swimming Canada’s new Masters page. We have responded to the suggestions from 2020 masters survey by creating a more easily navigable web page for you. We will continue to enhance the information found here regularly.
We look forward to hearing from you during the upcoming season.
We swim not to escape life, but so that life doesn’t escape us.
MANAGER, SPORT DEVELOPMENT (MASTERS AND oPEN WATER)