At its annual meeting last week, USMS recognized TAM as the 2023 Club of the Year. What an honor! Marie made a stealth trip to accept the award on our behalf. Nancy Ridout was there also as a convention delegate and was surprised and thrilled to see Marie at the meeting. We nominated the club in July and were selected from among the country’s more than 1500 clubs.
Why TAM? Those of you who are newer to the team will enjoy reading the words spoken at the awards ceremony which highlight our long history with USMS and our transformational year:
Venerable can best describe Tamalpais Aquatic Masters. TAM was established in 1973 as one of USMS’s first clubs. For over five decades, the team has provided a welcoming and supportive swimming community to athletes of every ability. TAM’s culture is collegial, embracing and close knit. Through the years TAM has been one of Master’s Swimming’s most ardent supporters. Its members have served as President of USMS, as national officers, committee chairs and dedicated volunteers. In the early days of Masters Swimming, it was not unusual for 10% of the delegates at this convention to be composed of TAM members. The club has also had three members inducted into the Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Why then is this the year they’ve been chosen as the Club of the Year? They describe the year as transformative. A Brand-New Team with a 50-Year History. After decades of training in an antiquated 5 lane pool, its host, Marin Academy, built a spectacular new aquatic center. The new pool meant dramatic change. For 40 years, TAM enjoyed free pool time in exchange for pool care. Now, as well as needing to contribute financially, they grew because they could. Emerging from Covid, the club kicked into high gear. The year saw TAM:
· Nearly doubling its membership
· Securing its 501c3 non-profit tax status
· Raising $225,000 for the new pool
· Achieving 85% participation in the virtual hour swim
· Creating a new website and monthly Tam-O-Gram newsletter
· Expanding its workouts to 4 a day
· Conducting the Jon Steiner Mile, raising money for lung cancer research
· Adding to the club's over 600 individual and relay World Aquatics (FINA) world records
· Considerably strengthening its financial foundation
· Enjoying parties and events to foster team spirit and celebrate success
TAM has been led by Marie McSweeney since its formation. Coach Marie has nurtured an incredibly successful team with her special ability to understand the needs and motivations of many types of swimmers, and provide just the right level of encouragement and coaching. She has been an extraordinary steward of TAM’s transformation. The club’s future has never been brighter
Watch the video that was presented at the awards ceremony:
We're planning a big celebration! Look for details soon.