SARASOTA, Florida, September 3. U.S. Masters Swimming reached a historic milestone, registering its 50,000th member. This marks the first time U.S. Masters Swimming has ever registered more than 50,000 members in a given year. U.S. Masters Swimming's mission is to promote adult health, fitness, wellness and competition through aquatics.
U.S. Masters Swimming was founded in 1970 as part of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). In 1981, the organization became a stand-alone non-profit membership organization. In the late 1980s and through the 1990s, with fitness becoming more prevalent in our society, the organization's program offerings expanded to include more fitness swimmer, open water, and triathlete participants. Today, there are more than 1,000 local Masters programs operating at schools, YMCAs, public and private aquatic facilities, and community centers.
"Our 2009 growth, up more than 11% from 2008, has been spectacular given the current financial climate. It speaks to the importance that people are placing on their personal health and well-being," says U.S. Masters Swimming President Rob Copeland. "Our growth can be attributed to our many volunteers, who serve as passionate ambassadors for our mission; to Masters coaches, who give so unselfishly to enhance the member experience; and to our professional staff that is executing our strategic action plan."
"This is a tremendous milestone shared by many," says U.S. Masters Swimming Executive Director Rob Butcher. "Our staff is enthusiastically committed to adding even more benefits and value to membership, continuing to outreach and offer support services to our coaches and their programs, foster new partnerships, and more aggressively market our brand and mission."
The 50,000th member is Sally Bradley. Bradley is a teacher and lives in Columbus, Ga. "Swimming has been the most consistent form of fitness for me in my whole life," she says, adding, "Nothing makes me feel better than swimming. I've had to take some time away from it but I'm excited to be back."
Sally will be celebrated with a feature article on the organization's website, usms.org. She will also receive a recognition certificate and other memorabilia commemorating the milestone.
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