USMS Award Recipient

U.S. Masters Swimming Club of the Year Award

Recipient: YMCA Indy SwimFit
Year: 2006
LMSC: Indiana

Indy Swimfit was the recipient of the inaugural USMS Club of the Year award in 2006. The club was founded in 1983 by Ivan Chalfie, Susan Francis, Mel Goldstein, and Tom Perrin. Twenty-three years later, the club had grown from a handful of members to more than 400!  Head coaches were Mel and Kris Houchens and numerous other coaches. They conducted at least 43 practices per week at six different facilities in the greater Indianapolis area at local YMCAs (Arthur Jordan, Baxter, Fishers, and Ft. Harrison), Warren Central High School, and the IUPUI Natatorium and Healthplex.

Swimmers of all abilities were welcomed, trained, and encouraged – but not pressured – to compete in USMS competitions. Whether at practice, a meet, or a social, the focus remained on fitness and welcoming others. ISF hosted Masters meets on a regular basis, including National Championships in 2000 and 2004 and while many members competed, others contributed as volunteers. In association with the Arthur Jordan YMCA, the club also hosted YMCA Nationals 5 times. The club had hosted 5 of the USMS national postal championship events and a portion of the profits were donated to local youth programs. ISF also hosted 5 USMS Open Water championships.

In addition to hosting many events, members of the club volunteered to help at the U.S. Olympic Trials, the Duel in the Pool, Boys and Girls High School Championships, and U.S. Swimming and Diving conference meets. Fundraising activities supported YMCA Invest in Youth programs, Hurricane Katrina victims, and a New York Firefighter’s Families charity (in 2002).

Indy Swimfit was honored in many ways. It was recognized by U.S. Water Fitness Association as the “Best Adult Water Fitness Program” in 2001 and Coach Kris was selected to be a coach at the USMS High Altitude Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Mel Goldstein served four years as the USMS President, and Babs Larsen and others held key positions on USMS committees. Member retention was 72%, well above the national average at that time.