Where Is the Center of US Masters Swimming? Wintry New England Accepts the Challenge of Sunny Southern Cal -- February 14, 2002
MARBLEHEAD, Mass., Feb. 14. NEW England Masters (NEM) Swimming has accepted the challnge proferred by Southern California Masters swim coach, Wayne McCauley, according to NEM Championship Meet Coordinator, and former president, Bob Seltzer.
The two Masters powers have debated which area should rightfully be called the "center of Masters swimming," a title Seltzer first claimed for New England based upon participation rates at the regional championships.
As Seltzer put it: "So, little New England, that cold small frozen corner in the upper right hand corner of the US, has been challenged by one of the centers of
swimming, sunny Southern California? Yes, Wayne McCauley, a well known Masters coach located in Southern California, has challenged our assertion that although we are small in numbers, we are mighty in terms of meet participation rate.
"We don't claim to have the fastest swimmers in the country. We do claim that a very high percentage of our members participates in meets. This is consistent with the NEM mission - to get people engaged in Masters swimming for life.
"We believe that Masters who participate in meets are more likely to stay in Masters swimming for life. That explains the strong, correlation between NEM's above- average meet participation (50% versus the estimated national average of 20-30%) and NEM's member retention rate (85% versus the 2001 USMS national average of 65%). This high member retention is all the more remarkable when you take into the account the number of people who heady to sunny climates to escape the
New England winters.
Addressing McCauley, Seltzer said: "So the real competition is not about who has the faster swimmers,
Wayne, but rather who can get the highest meet participation rate and thereby keep more people in Masters longer. That is our goal here in little 'ol New England.
"Nevertheless," Seltzer said, "we accept your challenge."
He asked Coach McCauley to send his meet .CL2 file to New England's short course meters meet director, Ed Gendreau, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The meet will be scored and "we'll see who scores more points."
"At the same time," Seltzer continued, "why don't you send your member retention rate and your member growth rate to: email@example.com
Let the battle begin!