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The 2018 USMS Convention

USMS Officers

For about a week each September, you might find a few of your teammates missing. Chances are that they are delegates to the annual United States Masters Swimming convention. Over four days, representatives from throughout the country come together to do the organization’s business. Since its inception, the convention has been critical to the continuing viability of USMS. It is here that the heavy lifting of guiding USMS takes place.

For almost 40 years USMS was an entirely volunteer organization and the actions necessary to manage the nationwide moving parts happened at the convention. Leaders and management were elected, rules and bylaws decreed, budgets created, championship venues selected, and all manner of the organization’s functions planned, ratified and enacted to propel USMS through another year.  In 2008 masters swimming outgrew its volunteer structure and the organization installed professional management. While the national staff now administers all USMS operations, the convention and delegate structure remains fundamental to the organization.
35 Pacific Masters delegates, including some who have been going every year since the beginning, to a number of first timers, joined approximately 300 colleagues in Jacksonville, to continue doing the work of USMS. Four days of committee meetings ranging from championships and coaches, to rules and recognition; finance and fitness to governance and giving and all punctuated sessions of the House of Delegates where everyone comes together to approve and activate the plans for the coming year.  Educational presentations, workshops, LMSC meetings, receptions and award ceremonies are all part of the proceedings. And no gathering of swimmers would be complete without the 5.30 morning swim practices.
The annual convention joins USMS with USA Swimming, USA Diving, USA Synchronized Swimming, and USA Water Polo who hold their own meetings. The closing event is a banquet where 1300 representatives come together to celebrate each of the sports.
As the largest masters delegation by far, our representatives enjoy considerable presence. We occupy many of the leadership positions, have voices on almost every committee and this year, many of our members were honored for their accomplishments.
Our elite Update editors (Jeremy Cohen, Peg Flynn, Linda Shoenberger, Carol Nip, Linda Hepworth, alum Ali Hall and VP Bob Anderson) received the June Krauser Communications award for keeping our members informed and up to date. Bob also received the Dorothy Donnelley Service award for his volunteer commitment to Pacific Masters and USMS. Carol Nip received the Kerry O’Brien Coach Award. Laura Val was recognized as one of Swimming World’s Top 6 women Swimmers of the Year. Enjoy some of the sights and activities of the convention by clicking on this link to the Flickr Gallery.
Written by Rich Burns. Photo by Rich Burns. Flickr Gallery by Rich Burns.

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