Encouraging More Adults to Swim

Charles Kohnken Receives 2008 Dorothy Donnelly Service Award

A local fixture on deck

Author Unknown | October 1, 2008

Charles Kohnken received the Dorothy Donnelly Service Award in 2008. He has worked for the Florida LMSC since 1983. He served as records chair for three years, registrar for six years, helped out as sanctions chair for a year and is currently Florida's officials chair. He also writes articles for the Florida newsletter. On the national level he has attended the USMS convention at least 10 times and served on the Registration Committee and the Officials Committee where he currently serves. In 2008 Charlie received the Florida LMSC Service Award in appreciation for his dedication and service.

Charlie has been a USA Swimming official in Florida for approximately 20 years. He officiates 10-15 USA swimming meets per year and also works many high school dual and district meets for Countryside High School. On top of that he officiates and organizes the officials at many Masters meets and Senior Games each year. He is a local fixture on deck. Everyone knows Charlie.

After seeing a need for officials certified at the highest level, Charlie has moved up through the ranks, starting as a stroke and turn judge, then starter, and just recently, at 76 years of age, became a certified deck referee. He plans on taking the next step—becoming an administrative referee. Many parents stop officiating after their children have stopped swimming so not many reach the referee level. Florida Official, Dan Nardozzi said, "Charlie is one of the most consistent, dedicated and experienced officials that I know."

As Florida's officials chair, Charlie works with each meet director to make sure they have enough officials to staff the meet. He is compiling a roster and diligently working to recruit officials to work Masters meets while making sure that they get deck time credit for their continued recertification. He actively recruits more individuals to become certified.

Besides all of his volunteer work, Charlie also competes for St. Pete Masters. He became an USMS All-American in 1991 and has 90 individual USMS top ten finishes since 1993.

Charlie is a dedicated Florida and USMS volunteer who cares deeply about swimming and of course, swimming properly. Charlie Kohnken well deserves the service award.

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