Victor Swim Club program director and co-head coach Michael Murray believes it’s time for USA Swimming and its Local Swim Committees to step forward and begin to help out clubs in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Murray, who returned to Victor last August after spending two years at Islanders Aquatics, finds his club in a “solid financial situation” at the moment, but still believes there needs to be external help.
“The most viable opportunity for USA Swimming to financially provide assistance to the clubs, in my opinion, would be for each LSC (Local Swimming Committee) to develop their own stimulus packages for local clubs,” Murray told SwimSwam in an email. “I believe that each LSC has a responsibility to help ensure the future of the teams in its association.”
Victor Swim Club is a member of the Niagara LSC, who have approximately 65-75 clubs and around 4,500 swimmers. Per Niagara’s most recent Board of Director’s meeting in late January, it has $792.3K in available funds.
“Most, not all, but most LSC’s have a surplus of money that could really inject a financial future for the smaller teams within the LSC,” Murray said. “If USA Swimming encouraged each LSC to provide a ‘Developmental-Financial Stimulus Plan,’ for the economic viability of their clubs, I think it would go a long way in terms of assistance, fostering better/stronger relationships between the teams and working together to further our sport.”
Murray still commends the organization for what they’ve done since the crisis hit.
“I think that USA Swimming has been doing everything it possibly can from a programmatic standpoint to assist clubs during this time; I have seen their entire sports development staff become extremely engaged in terms of helping coaches with content, land training, mental health, etc.”
For his club specifically, Murray and his staff continue to work on plans for whatever comes.
“Victor has an extremely loyal parent and athlete base; at this point in time during the COVID-19 crisis the administrative team and I are planning out several contingency plans and different modalities as viable options moving forward,” he said.
“Our club immediately lost $10,000 to potentially $15,000 in revenue because we have been unable to run our annual spring lesson program. This severely impacted where we expected our position in the fiscal evolution of the year and we’re continually strategizing how to appropriately manage these unexpected losses.”