USMS Award Recipient

U.S. Masters Swimming Club of the Year Award

Recipient: Davis Aquatic Masters
Year: 2011
LMSC: Pacific

Davis Aquatic Masters (DAM) was founded in 1974 and had served their local community for 37 years. The membership had grown to >500, making DAM the largest USMS club from one single city. The success of the team was due in part to hiring excellent coaches. They attended clinics such as USMS, Nor-Cal Swim Coaches, and the National ASCA Coaches Convention.  The coaches supplemented swimming workouts with cross training, open water clinics, and drills for strength. The DAM Head Coach, Stu Kahn, coached 95% of the 47 fully coached practices. As head coach, Kahn did a masterful job of coaching seasoned athletes as well swimmers over 50, who made up over half of DAM members. Kahn wrote two stroke technique articles for SWIMMER magazine. In recognition for his coaching, Kahn was awarded the prestigious Kerry O’Brien Coaching Award.

Dam hosted the Brute Squad Postal Swim for 2 years and the USMS One Hour Postal. The team founded the Lake Berryessa Swim 30 years ago and it was one of the longest running and most prestigious open water events in America. The event attracted 1000 participants and so many members volunteered to work at the event, there were not enough jobs for everyone. A canned food drive was part of the event, and literally tons of food was collected and donated to  the local Food Bank and Homeless Shelter. DAM invested event proceeds into free community health education programs. In addition, DAM annually selected a local non-profit organization to receive a donation, including the Davis High School water polo and swim teams and the Aquadarts’ (USA Swimming) Building Fund.

In 2011, DAM members set a record by raising $40,000 for Swim Across America. Proceeds funded cancer research to UCSF and the Oakland Children’s Hospital. DAM offered reduced fees to students and seniors over age 64. They subsidized a reduced pool rental rate for the local youth swim programs and offered free membership to seniors over 79. In 2000, a DAM member donated $1 million to UC Davis (UCD) to support the only long course pool in Davis.

When it was required that DAM have two certified lifeguards at all workouts, nearly one third of the members volunteered to take lifeguard training. DAM had an annual business meeting dinner, a New Year’s Party, a 1-Hr Postal Party, a BBQ, and a monthly pub Trivia Contest. They gathered most of the members annually for a team photo. T-shirts were made that said “How Am I swimming?” with the answer: “DAM Fast”.