Recently in an email from the President of the Masters Swimming Ontario Board… (see image)
It is great to see that our Canadian Forces – our Air, Army and Navy – plus Royal Military College (RMC) personnel will once again be joining us civilian folk at the Masters Swimming Ontario (MSO) Provincial Championships in March this year. Not only will we be able to witness those who serve to protect our nation swim, but we will be able to compete alongside them in every heat, in every event. Its quite a statement that our Canadian Forces are making by allowing MSO to host their own championships.
In fact… it reminded me that last year, our Canadian Forces had the opportunity to choose between having their championships hosted by MSO or with the Swim Ontario (SO) Masters Championships. In 2018, there were two (2) masters swimming champs in Ontario due to MSO splitting away from SO as a result of its attempted hostile takeover over masters swim clubs and swimmers. MSO’s champs were held in Nepean, those of SO were held in Barrie.
Hmm… interesting, our Canadian Forces chose the MSO Provincials over the Swim Ontario Masters Provincials.
Quite a statement indeed; especially when you consider that Swim Ontario in recent years has worked to pass and implement policies that would eject anyone – athletes & coaches included – who associated with those who Swim Ontario deemed an “undesirable” out of the sport. Imagine that… Swim Ontario’s interpretation of accessibility to the sport of swimming in Ontario depends on whether that individual is considered a ‘friend’ of SO or not. Those not considered ‘friends’, Swim Ontario has arranged that they can be ejected from the sport. In case you are curious whether there is due process… absolutely not. There is no independent body that Swim Ontario hands over such decisions: its own Executive Director appointed themselves – after writing and implementing this policy – as sole decision maker, with no appeals allowed either.
Hmm… so what does it say then that our Canadian Forces don’t want to be caught associating with Swim Ontario?
Unfamiliar with how Swim Ontario manages the sport of swimming in Ontario… well, let me help you with that. If you would like to learn about how Swim Ontario tried via hostile takeover to boost its membership numbers by trying to dictate to OFSAA how swimming is to be run then click here, and if you would like to learn how Swim Ontario tried to takeover the volunteer organization – thats right a volunteer organization – that was created to train swim officials and provide swim officiating at all meets in Ontario then click here.
Why has Swim Ontario made these attempts to takeover organizations instead of working to cooperate and collaborate? Because its all amount money. Swim Ontario receives a substantial amount of its funding, if not the predominant amount of its funding, from the Government of Ontario, specifically the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Culture. In order to apply and receive grant funding to ‘run the sport of swimming’ for the residents of Ontario, Swim Ontario has to submit its annual membership numbers to the government. Based on which sport is growing, which sport receives the most interest from residents of Ontario dictates the funding formula.
With Swim Ontario more interested in money then actual swimming, its become obsessed with manipulating its membership data in order to obtain more and more funding from the Government of Ontario. Hence… the hostile takeovers.
Refer to the chart on this webpage to see how participation in the sport of swimming is failing to keep up with population growth of Ontario. If curious to see how participation in swimming in Ontario and Canada ranks with other Commonwealth countries, click here. As you can see, the statements made in this blog are not estimates, not guess work, they are based on fact, in fact, they are based on facts and data that Swim Ontario itself submits to the Government of Ontario.
So before you jump on the Masters Swimming Canada and SO Masters Committee headed by Dan Thompson bandwagon and start to beg masters swimmers to reunite with Swim Ontario… maybe you should educate yourself.
Swim Ontario has a history of being unkind, vindictive, vengeful towards those who oppose it in anyway… if masters reunited with Swim Ontario what do you think would be the consequence? Really think SO would receive us with open arms, or do you think it would be the opportunity to exact a bit of revenge and reinstate all the onerous registration fees, registration policies, etc… that Swim Ontario believed it could get away in its initial hostile takeover attempt of masters swim clubs?
Think about it.
Masters Swimmers… we have a good thing going with the MSO Board… fees are low and pose no operational impact on even the tinest of masters swim clubs (which all too often operate on a shoe string budget), we have at least a swim meet every month and in multiple places in the province, and last year we had a tremendous Provincial Championships weekend with over 2,000 swims recorded! Plus, all the records that existed before continue to exist and continue to be updated via Statsman, Christian Berger, who has a new web address www.StatsMan.ca
We’ve got a good thing going because Swim Ontario and SNC are obligated by Aquatics Canada to ensure that every masters swimmer has access to both Nationals and to World events through unattached registration. What’s missing? Nothing… imho.
In case you are wondering… Swim Ontario passed the ‘no athletes/coaches to be found associating with undesirables’ policy just prior to the 2012 London Olympics in order to ensure that Canadian Olympian Sinead Russell received as little interaction, assistance and support from coaches representing Canada while she was competing in the Olympics.
You heard me…
A Canadian athlete qualifies to the Olympics and because Swim Ontario & Swimming Canada could not ‘hurt’ Sinead’s coach directly (who is also her father), they turned their target onto Sinead herself. That’s right… Swim Ontario targeted one of its own: a National Team member, an Olympian!
The blog post titled “Untold Story of a Canadian Olympian” is a glimpse into the fiasco of the politics of Swim Ontario and how it took priority over the performance of a Canadian athlete.
Still want to be associated with Swim Ontario / Swimming Canada?