This post is lengthy, but full of information, in no particular order.
1. Join USMS. Twenty-nine of you have already joined USMS for 2014, and registered with the Asheville Masters Workout Group – thanks! For insurance purposes, you have to be registered prior to swimming with us. To see members of the USMS workout group for AMS, please click here. To re-join click here.
2. Website Sponsorships. We are now offering website sponsorship for $100. There is a new link on the website where we’ll post sponsorship information to include graphics, links and text. Non AMS pass holders pay $200. Buy Local and support our local swimmers! Send your graphics, text and links to Jen/Andrew and we’ll get them posted.
3. 2013 Admin Year in Review. There were big changes behind the scenes for our club after some financial loses in 2012. The Board discussed various options to decrease expenditures and increase revenues, without increasing rates or reducing pool times. So we implemented the following new items for last year:
- Cancelled the services of Club Assistant which saves us over $800/year in website hosting, group management and multiple credit card processing fees.
- Stopped accepting credit card payments due to high fees and unfriendly software.
- Built a new free website on word press – thanks Jen!
- The “10 Punch Pass” cards returned.
- Removed the monthly payment option b/c we weren’t very good at collecting this and folks were slipping through the cracks.
- Negotiated a lower rate with two of our pools. Thanks Andrew and Jeff O.
- OK, this isn’t new but it’s very, very important. Sponsors. Thanks to you and you and you for giving checks to help support us. We wouldn’t and couldn’t be here without you!
Things we did, besides swimming and socializing between sets:
- Bought larger open water buoys, which means you can see much better in our pool open water sessions, OW clinics by Andrew and our Steve Barden Meet.
- Donated $$ to Biltmore Lake for a brick walk. They are great partners and allow us lake time for our clinics, occasional practice and Steve Barden race/BBQ. Thanks!
- Hosted a brunch at the ACC pool. Yum, bacon.
- Hosted another successful Steve Barden meet in both the pool and lake in one day. The BBQ was plentiful and Coach Claire kicked butt in the 200M open water sprint. Shout out to both Renee McNerhany and Lisa K for both swimming in their first ever Masters and I believe even non-Masters swim meet. Yay for challenging yourselves! Thanks to those who helped plan, manage and support the event. It’s a big fundraiser for us and the pool/lake one day event is certainly unique.
- Hired a new coach!! The changes above allowed us to hire a very talented coach on Wednesdays – Claire Maust!
- Ask Rick about the barbie.
- <place holder. probably missed something>
2014 Goals: To have coached practices 4 days a week later this year. We are going to market our swim program and amazing coaches to runners, bikers and triathletes, with the hopes of pulling in a few more dedicated members so we can make this happen. Please bring a friend and help spread the word about Asheville Masters Swimming this year! If you want to help, let a board member know. We can *really* use a graphic artist to improve our logo so we can add it to t-shirts, flyers, this website, etc.
4. 2014 Rates. We have not raised prices in over 5 years, but we have a very minor change – the 6 month membership is increasing $25 to $275 starting today. We are offering a 3 month pass for $145 and the 10 Punch Pass is still $50.
5. Monthly Socials! We want more opportunities to see you with your clothes on. The first Saturday of every month is now a brunch social, with locations alternating around town. We will try to pick the restaurant ahead of time and post in our website/calendar, in case you can’t make practice but can make brunch. Or maybe you want to invite your significant other or family to join us. In any case, the first team brunch social is Sat, Feb 1.
6. Mardi Gras Party. We want yet another opportunity to see you with your clothes on. First up is a Mardi Gras themed party on Saturday, March 1. Potluck. Nancy promises to dance.
7. Open Water Swims. Yup, most of us love to swim outside of pools, at the beach or in a lake. Some of us love to race in open water, too. If you have any interest in trying a race this year, maybe to improve your triathlon times/experience or to challenge yourself, start talking to the coaches. Jim G is planning to swim 2.4 miles in the Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Tenn., May 17. It’s the Ironman distance swim, and rumor has that it’s with a current, so it’s a great opportunity to try this distance without getting clobbered at the IM start. Anyone game to join him? Four months is plenty of time to prepare yourself!
8. A really Long Pool Swim. Why would swimming non-stop for 60 minutes sound appealing? A few yahoos will likely swim the 2014 Postal National Championships in the month of January and post their results here. Let’s see when Jim/Larry are planning on doing this. Anyone else want to challenge themselves?!