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Chlorine Chronicle (Archive)

NMSC Sep/96 Newsletter

The NMSC Story

Membership & Structure

The Nepean Masters Swim Club was started in the fall of 1976 by about 20 adults who wished to use swimming as their fitness program. Workouts were held at the Nepean Sportsplex during public swim times, and the club was affiliated with the age group Nepean Swim Club.

By 1980-81, membership grew to about 40. The club relocated to the Walter Baker Centre, discontinued their affiliation with the age group club, drew up a constitution, and elected an executive.

In 1983, the club expanded to groups A and B swimming on alternate evenings, and Group C at noon-hours. NMSC become Canada's largest masters club with close to 200 members. Unfortunately, Group C never attracted a full membership, and operated at a loss for three years before being discontinued..

In 1993, the club again considered expansion. Even with 130 or more members and very little advertising, it was common to have waiting lists of 50 or more people. However, no suitable pool time was available in Nepean, and the club could not generate sufficient interest in expanding to a pool in downtown Ottawa.

In 1995/96, for the first time in many years, an evening group operated below capacity, largely due to late hours and lack of community awareness. For the 1996/97 season the City offered us earlier hours than in recent years, and the club increased advertising far beyond anything done before.

Since 1986, NMSC has maintained a membership of about 130, ranking as one of the largest masters clubs in Canada. George Taillefer is our one remaining founding father. His wife Joan joined in the club's second season. There are perhaps 40 swimmers with at least 10 years' experience in the club.

The Program

Our program promotes swimming as a lifetime fitness activity. The club retains professional coaches to develop and deliver the swim program. Because technique is crucial to fitness swimming without injury, our program concentrates on stroke improvement, plus a strong emphasis on aerobic training. It complements such City programs as learn-to-swim and aquafitness.

Training is often adjusted for members swimming to the final stages of pregnancy . . . and sometimes into labour. Training has also been tailored to elite triatheletes, blind swimmers, and swimmers with physical restrictions. Several of our members hold provincial or national masters age group records, and a few even hold world masters age group records. One member has been inducted to the Nepean Sports Wall of Fame.

Beyond the Program

Since about 1985, the club has hosted an annual Winterlude masters swim meet. This meet is one of the largest and most respected in the region, attracting close to 200 swimmers. The club has also hosted the provincial masters championships twice (in lieu of Winterlude). While there are some extremely capable swimmers at masters meets, the focus is firmly on participation, mutual support, and personal success. Though only a portion of members compete, many others support them by volunteering at these meets.

In previous years, the club has sponsored age group swimmers by awarding memberships in the ESSO swim program. The club has also sponsored coaches to work with special needs adults. However neither of these activities are currently taking place.

Since the mid-1980's, members have taken part in an annual fund-raising swim for the Heart & Stroke foundation. The swim involves completing as much distance as possible during 30 minutes. Fund raising varies each year, but the highest so far was over $5,000 raised in the spring of 1992. Last year's total was just over $2000.

This year we celebrate our 21st year of masters swimming, and look forward to carrying on for the next twenty years.

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