Every pool should have a Masters program
Do you want to start a Masters swimming program? Maybe you are a coach or an unattached swimmer or maybe you’re already a member of a program but see a need for more opportunities for others in your community. Or maybe, like the folks in Celebration, Fla., you run a fitness facility attached to a hospital and want to expand your offerings. If you’re not sure how to proceed, or you just want to learn more about the responsibilities and benefits of creating a Masters program, the USMS Club and Coach Services team has created a 32-page booklet, available at usms.org, titled “Building a Successful Masters Program,” that will walk you through the process. The Club and Coach Services staff are also available to provide personal assistance to anyone considering starting a program.
In 2012 Mel Goldstein, a Club and Coach Services Coordinator and coach of Indy Aquatic Masters, traveled to Celebration, Fla., a planned community founded by Disney and near Orlando. The Celebration hospital has a fitness component and a “very nice six-lane 25-meter pool.” They contacted Goldstein through the USMS website about adding a Masters program to their fitness offerings. “They understand healthy, active people have lower medical costs,” explains Goldstein, and they wanted to expand their aquatic offerings beyond water aerobics.
So Goldstein, 73, flew down and met with the aquatics and program folks at the hospital. “They are probably going to start something in the fall,” he says with evident pleasure in his voice. (According to their website, they only add new programs twice a year.) “In club development, we see a lot of different facilities, but this was kind of unique.”
Like an aquatic Johnny Appleseed, Goldstein would like to sprinkle Masters programs throughout the country. “Every facility that has a pool should have a Masters program because it is a program for adults who have chosen the water as a means to achieve a healthy lifestyle.” It’s that simple, he says.
“A Masters program can be self-sustaining, too.” In other words, the dues can cover the costs.
So spread the word. Share this message with the manger of a pool in your area. If there is a lack of pool space for your program, encourage other pools to start a Masters program. Or contact Goldstein or Bill Brenner, Club and Coach Services Director, and they will do it for you. “People need to understand what club development is and can do,” says Goldstein.
A Masters program in every pool. It’s the aquatic version of a chicken in every pot. And it makes just as much sense.
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