Chlorine Chronicle (Archive)NMSC Mar/97 Newsletter
Boom, Bust, and Echo
(by Ann Bortolotti)
What does it mean to Masters swimming?
After reading the book this summer, I was left wondering how demographic trends will influence Masters swimming. Will overall demand go up or down? Will there be heavy competition in my age group?
I found population data (actual 1995 plus forecast for 2001) on the Statistics Canada web site, which fortunately happens to group using the same age categories as swimming. Don Clinton was able to supply me with MSO registration data from 1995.
Using the current (1995) MSO information, a "participation rate" can be calculated for each age group, which indicates the relative popularity of the sport for that group. You can see that Masters swimming appeals most to people in the 35-39 age group.
The participation rate is then applied to the forecast population groups. I did two forecasts, one using the actual population forecast (which is of course an increase from today) and a second one normalized to the current population.
The results are shown in the following table.
|Age Group Current(1995)||(MSO Registration) Forecast(2001)||(based on total forecast population) Forecast(2001)||(normalized to constant total population)|
What does this mean? Here's how I interpret the results:
- there will be a slight downward trend in swimming popularity, as the baby boomers drop out of the sport
- however, attendance figures will increase as overall population increases
- the 30-34 age group will become less crowded, making competition a bit easier; unfortunately, my age group gets harder
None of this factors in social trends, availability of facilities, or other factors which can influence overall swimming popularity.
If anyone has additional information or insights, please let me know. One thing that would be quite interesting would be to look at Nepean trends. This could help in our discussions with the City about pool times and rates.
Doug Petty, December 7, 1996.