Update #1 – Nov 4, 2019

I was contacted by Luis Escobar, Head Coach of EOMAC in regards to the original content of this post. He explained to me that in no way is it possible that we had this communication at the 2019 Alderwood Teddy Bares Masters swim meet, that whoever I spoke with must have pretended to be the ‘Head Coach of EOMAC’. Luis stated that he was indeed at this meet, but he remained at all times amongst his athletes and did not engage with anyone else at the meet.

I asked Luis to put himself into my position… I was at a swim meet, a masters swim meet, in the middle of January, it was -20deg that morning, and it was early on a Sunday morning, not in some random place where some random person came up presenting themselves as a swim coach. In addition, in the stands beside our team was his team: the EOMAC masters. Someone stands in front of our team presenting themselves as the Head Coach of EOMAC, asking to speak to the Head Coach of TOEST… so what reason is there not to believe that that person was authentically the Head Coach of EOMAC? What reason is there is to think that the person is an impersonator, an impostor?

I shared with Luis that I have nothing personal against him, that the point of the opinion piece was to reveal how at the time, swim team boards & coaches were being ‘sold’ by SNC/SO that masters swimming couldn’t live without them and being used to sell the message to masters swimmers in an effort to intimidate and undermine the efforts of Masters Swimming Ontario (MSO).

Hence the post title has been amended and this update provided.

Update #2 – also on Nov 4, 2019

After amending this post as promised to Luis, he replied with the following…

Click to enlarge

So here I am thinking that I am helping a coach who wants to disassociate himself from being seen as a mouthpiece for Swimming Canada/Swim Ontario, and then this…  the truth comes out as Mr Luis Escobar sends me an invitation to discuss Masters Swimming in Canada at an upcoming EOMAC meet which is not MSO sanctioned but sanctioned by Swimming Natation Canada (SNC) with none other than the SNC Masters Coordinator in attendance.

You got me good Luis… the whole don’t pin me as a mouthpiece for SNC/SO in front of masters swimmers, because I am a mouthpiece for SNC/SO (but I need no one to know that I am).

Thank you Luis for pointing out the authenticity of the original post (and for revealing yourself truly… I get it, you are undercover, so… shhhh, I won’t let anyone know… not a single soul what the agenda truly is).

For anyone that missed it: its highlighted in Update #1

Originally posted January 2019

I would like to share with you an exchange I had recently in order to demonstrate how fear, ignorance, and blind loyalty typically end up with the sheep being slaughtered… (or in the case of people, where the people end up getting fleeced).

While sitting in the stands at the Teddy Bares Alderwood meet just a couple weeks ago, our team was approached by (someone who presented themselves as) the head coach of EOMAC. He stated flat out that he is working with Dan Thompson in an effort to reunite masters swimmers back under one umbrella.

I asked why?

His reply… Nationals (and stated in such a way as if incredulous to me even posing such a question)?

NOTE: 2019 SO Championships (sanctioned by SNC) which was put on by EOMAC was direct competition to MSO’s Provincial Championships… so there was a vested interest by all of EOMAC that masters be convinced to attend their Championships and not MSO Championships. There is always an agenda… you just have to dig a little deeper sometimes to find it or in this case have Mr Escobar tie it altogether and put a pretty bow on top.

I stated that Nationals are of little interest to the majority of our team (and to the majority of masters swimmers – impacting as few as 2% and perhaps as many as 10% when Nationals are conveniently located), and those who want to go have the option of going and swimming unattached… so where is the need to subordinate ourselves to Swimming Canada, Swim Ontario, and Masters Swimming Canada all of whom have no vested interested in seeing masters swimming in Ontario flourish?

Taken aback by my reply, his next line of attack was surprising…

This person then decided to take another tactic… fear mongering! He stated that the Alderwood Teddy Bare meet was being held without any insurance whatsoever.

Seriously… his words, not mine.

I looked at him to check that he wasn’t just joking but when I realized how serious he was and how correct he thought he was… I simply stated “I rent pool time… if you rented pool time you would know that no City is going to rent any organization their facilities without there being appropriate insurance in place”. I tried to make it clear that there was no way that the Alderwood meet was ‘just happening’ without all the appropriate criteria fulfilled. And yes… a meet can be held in Ontario without Swim Ontario. If not, then how do high school swim meets occur as well as OFSAA Swimming 2019 (which is going to be held this year at the Pan Am Pool Complex in Toronto).

Realizing that this person was blindly following whatever was fed to him and never himself ever doing any due diligence to formulate his own opinion or thought on the matter, there was no purpose in continuing to try and convince him that he was missing facts and basing his arguments all on feelings, not logical and reasonable analysis of the underlying issues.

With that, and seeing that he lost his credibility with his ridiculous comments regarding swim meet insurance, he quickly changed his tune to show how supportive he and his team are of the Alderwood meet. He stated the he had brought 20 people from his team to Alderwood. Funny thing is, if you check the MSO Meet Result data (available at this link), EOMAC had only 10 people swimming. I guess when facts and accuracy of your facts are irrelevant, you can make up whatever you want on the spot in order to try and make a point or push your point onto someone else. Sounds familiar… Swim Ontario/Swimming Canada used the same tactic when I dealt with them via SDRCC. Both stated that “much research” was done (re: unattached swimming) but when the arbitrator asked for the documentation, funny thing… SNC replied that no one had done any. Convenient isn’t it when the proper paperwork just isn’t there to support your arguments but the arguments were the basis for policy development?

[As an aside… why would anyone – coach or athlete – attend a meet if there was any concern about insurance covering everyone at the swim meet? Wouldn’t you suggest to your team/your athletes not to attend if there was such a risk? Why show up and then advertise with how many athletes you showed up when you first argued that showing up was a risky proposition?]

At this point, with another event to swim I stated to “the coach” that if he wanted to continue this discussion I would do so but after the event. He turned immediately to another coach… the Guelph coach to see if he could swing someone to his side.

What’s the point of this post?

The point is to call out the bullshit that is passing as “information” and to call out those who are propagating the bullshit in order to try and manipulate masters through fear into the hands of Masters Swimming Canada and Swim Ontario/SNC. I hope that masters swim team boards, head coaches, and all masters swimmers will educate themselves on not only this issue but in general on the tendencies of both Swimming Natation Canada and Swim Ontario. I believe that you will come to the same conclusion I have regarding these organizations and based on that conclusion… there is little upside (if any) and significant downside risk to affiliate with these organizations.

Last point for masters swimmers for whom Nationals & Worlds are critical:

  • Swim Ontario & SNC MUST make access to Nationals and they MUST make access to FINA Worlds possible for all Canadians. According to Aquatics Canada, in order to retain their status as representative bodies of the sport of swimming , neither Swim Ontario nor SNC can deny Ontario athletes access to the sport irrespective of whether or not there is a provincial body representing masters.

  • ‘Competitive’ Masters Swimmers… you lack nothing; why rope the rest of us in when you have unrestricted access to all swim meets: provincial, national & international?

  • I believe we have the right mix with Masters Swimming Ontario (MSO) standing as an independent body yet Swim Ontario/SNC required to make access to all National and International level meets available to all Ontario masters swimmers (via an “unattached” swimmer category). If uniting under one umbrella makes sense… then please make the argument based on the needs of not just yourself, but the majority of masters swimmers who typically do not compete and if they do, compete perhaps once or twice a season and typically only at small local meets, for whom records and podiums are not a priority.