Encouraging More Adults to Swim
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Send Us a Story for USMS Archives

USMS Needs You!

The USMS History & Archives Committee needs your generous contribution. We're not asking for your money, but for something much more valuable: stories about swimmers.

We would like each LMSC to identify a few of its key people, who have been a part of USMS for a long time. Then someone in the LMSC can interview these valuable members about their swimming. See "Creating a Story" for several questions we've put together to get you started. Feel free to use these questions in whatever way suits you best-pun completely intended!

About the History Project

What is the History & Archives Committee?

The History & Archives Committee was officially established, as an ad hoc committee, in 1999, to carry on with the work begun in 1995 by Dorothy Donnelly and Carl House. In 2001, it was made a standing committee and charged with constructing permanent archives that record the history of United States Masters Swimming. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, we now have a website containing over 6,000 pages devoted to Masters swimmers.

To get a feel for the committee, and to see hundreds of photographs and stories about Masters swimmers, view our website at www.swimgold.org. The site also includes stories about past pool and open water competitions, and lists All-Americans since 1972, All-Stars since 1987, and Top Ten swimmers since 1993.

Our goals are to:

  • Continue to update and add to our history
  • Establish resource people in each LMSC who will help with this process.
  • Store our archives at the Henning Library at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida.

How you can help:

  • Research and write a story about yourself or other Masters swimmers in your LMSC.
  • Provide information about a swimmer or LMSC, in the form of interviews, recordings, news material, or LMSC newsletters, so that an Archives Team volunteer can write a story.
  • Volunteer your time to type stories.

How to submit a story or oral history

Written contributions should be made electronically, either on a disc or through e-mail. Please send them to Archives@usms.org. A dictated tape is priceless, because it captures the voice, the attitude, and the spirit of the Masters swimmer. For these oral histories, send the original tape and also a typed transcript. If this is not possible, mail a transcript, or as a last resort the tape itself, to Meegan Wilson, 620 NW 27th Way, Gainesville, FL 32607 (phone 352-373-0023).

Creating a story

The following questions may help you write a story about yourself or another Masters swimmer:

Background questions:

  • What is your full name, and when and where were you born?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • How old were you when you first learned to swim? Did you compete as a child?
  • Did you swim competitively in high school? College? Age-group swimming?
  • What do you remember most about your early swimming experience?

Masters involvement:

  • How and when did you first get involved in Masters swimming?
  • What are your most memorable Masters swims?
  • What are the highlights of your swimming accomplishments?
  • How would you summarize your reasons for participating in the Masters program?
  • How many local meets do you participate in each year?
  • Do you frequently participate in national championship meets?
  • Who has helped you the most in your swimming endeavors?
  • Have you set any current goals for swimming?

Current physical activity:

  • How frequently do you work out, and what is the makeup of your typical workout?
  • If you swim regularly, what keeps you motivated?
  • Do you participate in other forms of physical activity?

USMS involvement:

  • Are you active in your LMSC or at the national level?
  • What are your Masters administrative responsibilities?
  • Have you ever attended the USMS convention? How was it?
  • What have been your principal accomplishments for USMS?

Personal life:

  • If you're married, when were you married? Is your spouse a swimmer too? If not, does he or she support your involvement?
  • Do you have any children? How old are they? Are they involved in competitive athletics?
  • Do other members of your family swim for fun or fitness? Do they compete?
  • What is your occupation?
  • What are your hobbies? If you're retired, what have you been doing, and how are you keeping yourself busy?

Stories about your LMSC:

  • When did your LMSC first form?
  • How many members did it have originally?
  • How has the membership grown throughout the years?
  • How many teams does your LMSC currently have? How many members are currently registered?
  • Who have been the officers, from the beginning to the present?
  • When and where was the first local meet in your LMSC held? How have local meets developed and changed?
  • Has your LMSC or anyone in it received special recognition or awards, such as the Newsletter of the Year, Ransom Arthur, Coach of the Year, David Yorzyk, or National Championship Meet awards; induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame; All-American or Top Ten recognition?
  • What prominent member of your LMSC can you write a story about?

Adding quotations to your story will make it more personal and interesting.

Good examples of what some LMSCs have done:

Virginia (by Betsy Durrant).

Oregon (by Earl Walter and Bill Volckening). Oregon has organized its history by year, which allows for easy additions and updating.

Florida Gold Coast (by Ed Ames).

For more information, contact the USMS National Office:

Membership Coordinator, Tracy Grilli, 655 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL, 34236, Phone: (800) 550-SWIM

If you would like to see or download a pdf file of our brochure, click here.

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