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Friday, January 10, 2014

How Baby Boomers Will Affect Open Water Swimming

In 2013, more than 3.5 million Americans will celebrate their 65th birthday.

And that number will pale in comparison to the future ranks of older Americans who will celebrate their 60th, 70th and 80th birthday over the next 20 years.

By 2030, the 65-and-over crowd will increase to 72 million potential swimmers in America up from 40 million in 2010.

While many of these individuals will worry about their medical bills and retirement plans, an increasing number of them will also be scheduling their pool workouts and planning their open water swims. This vast Baby Boomer generation - estimated to be 78 million individuals in America - will dramatically change the seascape of the open water swimming world.

They may have kids and grandchildren to look after; they may be taking various kinds of medications; they may wear looser clothes than before, but they will also be looking to maintain or improve their health. They will be bombarded by public messages and advertisements to eat more healthfully and exercise more. They will be encouraged to head to gyms, attend fitness expos and watch their diet. They will have more time to pay attention to themselves and will be motivated to turn back the ravages of time.

Many of them find that running strains their bones and joints too much. Some of them look for a total body workout. Others want to improve their aerobic capacity, vascular health and muscular strength. As a result, many Baby Boomers will find their way to a local pool or shoreline.

Newbies and former competitive swimmers alike will look for information about swimming and comrades to swim with. They will find that the camaraderie of the swimming community is a perfect combination with the health benefits of swimming.

The trend that was identified by the Southern Pacific Masters Swimming (SPMS) is undoubtedly replicated not only throughout the United States, but throughout the world where the Baby Boom generation is also affecting most other niches and aspects of society and the economy. "SPMS experienced a record number of registrations in both clubs and individuals in 2013: a 8% growth in individual registrations (now over 5,000 masters swimmers) and a 9% growth in club registrations for 2013 (now over 100 masters swimming clubs) in Southern California," explains Dan Wegner, Registrar for Southern Pacific Masters Swimming.

We foresee various long-term effects as the Baby Boomers navigate their way through middle-age and retirement:

1. Event participation. The number of participants in open water swims is increasing, but a closer look at the results finds that the over-40 age groups are growing the fastest and make up the bulk of an increasing number of events. For younger athletes, there are a number of swimming alternatives from age-group swimming to collegiate swimming competitions. Furthermore, compared with individuals in their 20s and 30s, the over-40 crowd is not only more numerous, but they have more time and more disposable income to spend on open water swimming events, camps, clinics and holidays.

2. Equipment. An age-group swimmer and competitive athlete uses a number of training devices, from fins to pull buoys. But "go-to-the-gear" is a nearly a mantra for many Baby Boomers. Sales of fins, buoys, paddles, and snorkels will increase as more and more Baby Boomers take to the pool and open water. And since they are more aware of the ravages of the sun and environmental issues, sunscreen products and biodegradable skin ointments and products will catch the attention of these near-retirees and retirees.

3. Pods. Older swimmers may not go to a lot of competitions, but they do enjoy the collegiality of their fellow swimmers. Post-swim socializing will be increasingly important, ranging from a coffee after a swim to a pot-luck meal on the weekends with swimming friends.

4. Challenges. They will look for something to aim for; something to challenge themselves that motivates them in a physical and mental sense. The Half Century Club, the Oceans Seven, Ice Mile, the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming and masters championships will be among the more visible open water swimming goals, but most swimmers will seek something more easily attainable: 10 laps across the pool or a 1 km ocean swim will do it for most people.

Whatever they choose to do, the Baby Boomers will have a profound and unprecedented affect on the open water swimming world.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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