OTTAWA – Swimming Canada is building its support for the masters swimming community by growing its staff and adding a new advisory committee.
Cynthia Pincott will join the staff Sept. 3 in the new role of Coordinator, Masters Swimming, to provide support to masters swimming, in collaboration with the provincial sections. Pincott has been involved with the sport at all levels, including as an administrator and international official. She was previously an age group swimmer, and has also been a masters swimmer and coach.
“Cynthia’s lifelong involvement with swimming makes her a perfect fit for this role,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “This is one of the steps we will be taking in the coming months to better serve masters swimmers and bring them more closely into the wider Swimming Canada family.”
The Brigham, Que., resident earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Concordia University and a master’s in genetics from McGill and has more than 20 years experience in private sector positions with an emphasis on bookkeeping and data management. Her new role will include planning the annual Canadian Masters Swimming Championships (aka Masters Nationals), overseeing national records, and coordinating new programming to support masters swimming in Canada. As Swimming Canada, via Aquatics Canada, is the only swimming organization in Canada that is recognized by FINA, she will also coordinate communication with FINA on masters-related issues including world records.
“I think I have a very global vision of swimming. I swam growing up at an elite level, I swam university, I’ve coached masters, I’ve been on the board of a team, a region, a province. I’ve been a masters swimmer where my priority was competing and making records, and I’ve been a masters swimmer where my priority was just getting back into shape,” Pincott says.
Swimming Canada is also launching a Masters Swimming Advisory Committee. Committee members include:
John Holmwood (B.C.): Holmwood is a former Trenton (Ont.) Dolphins swimmer who began swimming masters in Ontario in 1980 before moving to Calgary and later Vernon, B.C., where he restarted the Vernon Masters Swim Club. He is a Level 3 Official and has served as an administrator at several levels, including the current board of the Masters Swimming Association of B.C. While he has attended national and world championships, he attends more for the camaraderie and social aspects than for the competition.
Barry Lewis (Alberta): A former University of Alberta swimmer who returned to the Edmonton Masters Swim Club at age 40, Lewis has competed at several national and world masters championships, served on the EMSC board/executive and as treasurer of the Alberta Masters Swimming Association.
John McIntyre (Ont.): Introduced to swimming briefly in high school, McIntyre is a lawyer who recently joined Toronto’s LGBT swim club, Downtown Swim Club, has attended several meets and competed at the FINA World Masters Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
Sylvie Potvin (Que.): Potvin was a masters swimmer for 15 years and has served on the board of the Quebec provincial masters committee and Masters Swimming Canada. In addition to being a Level 4 official, she has helped organize several national championships, and two FINA World Masters Championships in Montreal.
Dan Thompson (Ont.): No stranger to swimming, Thompson is a former national team member who went on to a career in sponsorship marketing. He is now President of Swim Ontario, CEO of Myrtha Pools Canada, and also a swimmer and coach with the Aurora Master Ducks.
The committee will provide advice to Swimming Canada based on its deep connections to the masters swimming community, and Pincott will lead initiatives that come out of those discussions. She will be supported by all levels of Swimming Canada staff as masters swimming becomes more directly incorporated in the organization’s day-to-day operations.
“It’s great to see it’s not going to be a one-person show, which is really fabulous,” Pincott said. “There are so many projects we can put in place for masters swimmers, that’s what excites me the most. We are going to work on finding out what they want and what we can offer them, in terms of events, in terms of recognition, in terms of structure, in terms of following up on their records. It’s very exciting.”