Members of U.S. Masters Swimming don’t confine their participation to the pool. There are many volunteer opportunities for their talent, expertise, and generosity. USMS recognizes the commitment of those who give back with the Dorothy Donnelly Service Award, named to honor one of USMS’s outstanding volunteers. The award recognizes those whose contributions stand out in service to local, regional, and national programs. Up to 15 people are selected each year and nominations come from Local Masters Swimming Committees, clubs, and individuals.
This year, two individuals from South Carolina were selected. Diane Bartlett has a way with pool swimmers that just keeps them coming back. As assistant director of North Myrtle beach aquatics center, she sees and knows everyone, all the while making sure they know about masters swimming. WIth her people skills, she has encouraged all the pools in the area to have a masters team.
Swimming Saves Lives is an ongoing project, with more than one hundred successful new swimmers. She has channeled the program into a ‘beginner’ masters program to introduce swimmers to intervals, technique etc before ‘ graduating’ them into her Masters team.
As a 2011 recipient of the Kerry O’Brien Coaching Award, Diane knows her skills and how to put them to work — in her free time she reads to research and build her workouts to get the best out of her swimmers. Looking forward to practice is a given in Diane’s pool because the team knows the rewards and has a coach who genuinely cares about them, in and out of the pool.
Leslie Scott has been selected as one of the award recipients. Leslie started coaching a Masters team 20 years ago right out of college. After a move to South Carolina 10 years ago, she started the Greenville Splash club. Beginning with just four swimmers, the team is now nearly 100 members. Head coach, head ambassador, meet director for the SC LCM Championship meet, webmaster and newsletter editor are all roles Leslie plays as a volunteer extraordinaire! She received the Kerry O’Brien Coaches Award in 2012.
Leslie is committed to improving physical fitness and health of adults. She communicates team events through all media including the newsletter, website, social media, and announcements during workouts. She is a consummate promoter of team activities such as the Smarty Pants Vitamins 30 minute swim, which this year won an award for the most participants; the 1 Hour E Postal swim; a traditional team Thanksgiving workout with prizes and 10,000 yards of swimming; fitness challenges during workouts; “Swimmer of the Month” awards; team socials and she is always encouraging swimmers to use the USMS Fitness Blog. Fun events for holidays such as coaches in costumes, playing relay games, Christmas Vegas workout, hunting for Easter eggs are all part of her making swimming an inclusive environment for fitness swimmers, triathletes and advanced competitive swimmers.
In the past three years, Leslie has more than doubled Masters swim options at facilities in the upstate South Carolina area and had mentored coaches at other facilities to help them provide effective programs — Greenville Splash gives back to the community so everyone can experience the benefits of the swimming. Leslie organized the Upstate Splash Charity Open Water Swim to raise funds to give at-risk children swim lessons. The club conducted its 3rd Adult Learn to Swim program this year with 20 volunteers and 80 participants and have so far taught 170 adults to swim.
U.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1970, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes health, wellness, fitness, and competition for adults through swimming. It does so by partnering with more than 1,500 adult swim programs across the country; promoting information via the bimonthly member magazine, SWIMMER, monthly e-newsletters, STREAMLINES, and website, usms.org; and by sanctioning and promoting pool, open water, and virtual events and competitions. More than 60,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.