September 29, 2008

United States Masters Swimming (USMS) and the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) unveil a partnership that is expected to strengthen both organizations and add some muscle in the fight to preserve, protect and expand college swimming.  The announcement is made jointly by Rob Butcher, USMS Executive Director, and Dr. Phil Whitten, CSCAA Executive Director, at the US Aquatic Sports convention in Atlanta.

“With this partnership, United States Masters Swimming joins the College Swimming Coaches Association of America in its support of the preservation and growth of collegiate swimming,” commented Butcher.

“This is a natural alliance,” concurred Whitten.  “It’s a classic win-win situation for both organizations.  Our focus will be on the local level with the idea to associate local Masters clubs with the college swim teams in their area.”

“Each party gets something valuable from this relationship,” Butcher said. “The college teams get the active support of local Masters who are likely to be among the most influential people in their communities, both professionally and politically.”

“On the other side of the equation,” Whitten noted “Masters may have access to coaching that did not even exist when they were in college.  Equally important is the forging of friendships across generations and a strengthening of the swimming community.”

“Many of our 45,000 members were collegiate student-athletes and members of their school's swim team,” Butcher added. “The values and lessons they learned as student-athletes have helped shape who they are today, both personally and professionally.  There is also significant research that indicates the benefits for universities to offer collegiate swimming. USMS looks forward to working with the college swim coaching community in promoting that message and serving as a resource.”

The partnership mirrors the recent trend of many of America's premier swimming organizations to seek cooperative ventures to strengthen the sport of swimming at all levels.