U.S. Masters Swimming has officially cancelled its Spring National Championship meet in late April, and is recommending a suspension of all competition through April 30.
USMS Spring Nationals were set to take place from April 23-26 in San Antonio, Texas. But U.S. Masters Swimming has already called off that event, and says it is strongly recommending that all local Masters swimming committees suspend any competitions through the end of April. That’s just the latest in a long line of cancellations due to the worldwide novel 2019 coronavirus pandemic.
So far, Texas has 24 reported cases of COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control. COVID-19 has had the highest mortality rates among the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions – a particular concern for Masters swimming, which hosts age groups from 18-24 all the way up to 80-84 and beyond.
The full USMS press release is below:
SARASOTA, Fla. — U.S. Masters Swimming has cancelled the 2020 USMS Spring National Championship and suspended all education courses through at least April 30 and strongly recommends all Local Masters Swimming Committees (LMSCs) suspend all of their sanctioned competitions until at least April 30 because of COVID-19 concerns, the organization announced Friday.
The decision to cancel Spring Nationals, which was scheduled for April 23–26 in San Antonio, was made jointly by USMS and the hosts of the meet, Northside ISD Aquatics and San Antonio Sports. All registrants will receive a refund.
“The safety of our athletes, coaches, volunteers, fans, and staff is our utmost concern,” USMS CEO Dawson Hughes says. “In an abundance of caution and in the best interests of our membership, we have decided that this was the best course of action.”
USMS’s suspended education courses include coach certification, Adult Learn-to-Swim instructor certification, and clinics.
In addition, the organization’s Adult Learn-to-Swim Month campaign will not be promoted in April this year.
Spring Nationals was a major part of USMS’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2020.
“We are disappointed that we have had to cancel Spring Nationals,” says Jenny Carnes, senior vice president/chief operating officer of San Antonio Sports. “However, it’s the right decision for the safety of everyone who was planning to attend the meet. We look forward to working with U.S. Masters Swimming to have a future national championship in San Antonio.”
USMS encourages all of its members to adhere to prevention best practices and follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and their local health officials for updates regarding COVID-19, and strongly discourages swimmers who are sick from attending workouts.
“We will continue to follow updates regarding COVID-19 and will provide updates and information to our members as they become available,” Hughes says. “We thank everyone in advance for taking every precaution to protect themselves and others.”