Potomac Valley Voices

Editor: Dick Rankin

Vol. 2 No 7 AUGUST, 1998

General Chairmanís Corner - Dick Rankin
PVS Investment Strategy - Bob Fout
New Registration Procedures - Mary Ann Henderson
PVS Webpage Developments - Dave Scibetta
Fast Turns - Editor
Link to other Issues of PVS Voices


General Chairmanís Corner -- Dick Rankin

Another year of outstanding swimming by PVS athletes is being wrapped up this month with large contingents of swimmers at the Junior and Senior National Championship meets as well as one of the largest ever PVS team at the Long Course Zone Meet in Baltimore. Congratulations to all swimmers that participated in those meets; PVS and PVS teams are a force to be reckoned with in USS! A special congratulations goes out from the Voices to Molly Freedman, who represented us so well on the Gold Medal Woman's USA Team at the Goodwill Games. Every time we turn around someone from PVS is bringing home the Gold. Let us never forget, regardless of our role in this association, that these swimmers represent less than 5% of all PVS athletes and it is those other 95% who have varying goals that we must represent to the best of our abilities and ensure they have the optimum opportunities to achieve their goals in the sport. No one ( in his right mind) joins this sport to get rich but our ranks grow each year as more and more parents and youth recognize that every athlete, without exception, is a winner; every athlete has the opportunity to achieve his or her goals. And it is our job to make sure that "opportunity" exists.

As we head into the new season, your management team feels good about where our competition program is heading and we believe we are on the right track to ensuring that relevant information is available to all members so that you can make wise choices. Therefore, we are focusing our attention on formalizing some of the processes we employ. Next month is the annual USS Convention - in Cincinnati - and, as usual, you will be well represented by your PVS delegation and by our membership on several national committees. In the past I have used this time, while isolated from our daily routine, to conduct some in-depth work and this year will be no different. Kit Mathews, as the new Administrative Vice Chairman, has been tasked to review, rewrite and edit our Policies and Procedures Manual, to reflect the several changes instituted over the past year. It will be our delegation's task to finalize that review so that an amended version of this very important document can be made available to our member clubs in hard copy and to you over the web early this Fall. This Fall and Winter we will also be looking at our formal organizational structure to make sure it fits properly into the way we conduct business. For example, as I stated at the House of Delegates, the Safety Committee currently reports to the Administrative Vice Chairman and that made sense when that committee's focus was primarily on coaches training and certification but now we have expanded both the size and scope of that committee to be responsible for all safety issues and, therefore, it would seem to make more sense for it to be responsible to our Operations Chairman. We have also added several positions over the past couple years, including Public Relations, Outreach and most recently Adapted Swimming Coordinators and we will assess how best to manage those functions. We will make changes where we can and make recommendations to next year's House of Delegates where we must. Finally, we will be working throughout this new season to put structure in place to support our new information opportunities; my goal will be to remake the Administrative Vice Chairman position into the PVS' Chief Information Officer.

While closing the books on a very successful 97-98 season, I want to welcome you to the new season where we hope all of our athletes' potentials are realized and where we continue to serve your needs. There will be 6 editions of this newsletter this coming season to correspond to the 6 mailings to our Family Members but supplemental items will be appearing on our webpage any time important information needs to get out to the community. So I encourage all members to browse the PVS webpage often. Check out all the blocks and take advantege of swimming links to look beyond Potomac Valley. Most importantly feel free to communicate to us over the web; we are here to serve your needs. We will never know we are not doing what you want unless you communicate with us.

PVS Investment Strategy -- Bob Fout

Editor's Note: Over the past year Bob Fout, the PVS Treasurer, conducted a review of PVS investments to determine the best method for safely maximizing our return. He briefed his findings at the PVS House of Delegates Meeting in May and the results follow.

The House of Delegates (HOD) approved a motion at its May 1998 meeting to adopt the United States Swimming (USS) investment strategy and employ the USS investment manager, Mr. Stephen J. Drexler, a Certified Financial Planner of Dain Rauscher Investment and Banking Services. The objective of this action is to obtain an additional 3% return on investment relative to the Consumer Price Index with a minimum return of 7% as a secondary objective. This is a long-term objective to maximize benefits for PVS without undue risk. In fact, we fully expect to realize even higher returns.

Initially, PVS will allocate $50,000 to this investment strategy to be invested over a 10-month period of time. The HOD provided the Board with the option to invest an additional $50,000. PVS funds will go into a money market account, currently paying just over 5%, and then be phased into an asset portfolio of equities and fixed income securities at a rate of $5,000 per month. The asset allocation will target 55% equities, 40% fixed income securities , and 5% cash equivalents. The allocation is intended to remain generally balanced in this regard and will include large and small capitalized corporations as well as some international exposure. The PVS Board will receive a quarterly account detailing investment performance, portfolio holdings, investment strategy, and PVS fund value. The anticipated cost of operating the account will run between .75% and 1.5% of net asset value per year.

Editor: The PVS Board has historically attempted to retain reserves (in addition to the operating account) at an approximate rate of one year's "real" LSC operating expenses (excluding all pass through expenses like registration fees). Our past investment approach while excellent at the time it was adopted had not been measured against the current investment environment in several years. Rising costs were endangering our reserve strategy; therefore, the Board asked Bob to determine if it was wise to update our strategy. We believe the adoption of this new strategy will help us achieve our goals. A nearly identical strategy has harvested great returns for USS, since its adoption a few years ago.

New Registration Procedures -- Mary Ann Henderson

THIS IS IMPORTANT. PLEASE READ AND HEED! The registration process for the 1998-99 swim season will require every athlete and non-athlete to complete a membership application form. There are questions on both forms which are new for this season.

The athlete form requires legal last, first, and middle names. You may also enter a preferred name. One reason for this change is that USS is going to provide a unique identification number to each athlete. This number will follow the athlete for the duration of his/her swimming career regardless of where that might be. The new ID number will be easy to remember: date of birth (mmddyy), the 1st three letters of the legal 1st name, the 1st letter of the middle name, and the 1st four letters of the last name. If the first or last names do not have enough letters, or if there is no middle name, an * will be used to fill in the blanks. For example:

Rose A. Buchman born 5-16-78 Unique ID 051678ROSABUCH
Thomas O'Neal born 9-12-65 Unique ID 091265THO*ONEA
Ty H. Ng born 4-5-80 Unique ID 040580TY*HNG**

If Rose prefers to be called "Sissy", the new procedure will accommodate her. Her membership card will be issued with her preferred name and she will be entered in meets as "Sissy Buchman'. The new form also requests the ethnicity of each athlete. There are 7 options, including "Decline". USS has included this on the registration because it simply wants to identify its membership so that it can better plan for the future. USS wants to gather statistical data so that it can tell the areas of the country that are doing well at servicing minority populations and target other areas for growth. The data will also be used to attract sponsorship dollars to help get some areas jump started. This will also help track athletes who stay in the program, those who leave, and why. There is also a question on affiliations; the answer to that question will assist USS build partnerships with other groups, including swim groups. The final question on the new form requires the registrant to indicate if he/she was registered last year. If the swimmer is returning to the same club, he/she needs only to write "98" after the question YEAR LAST REGISERED. If the athlete is changing clubs, he/she MUST complete the rest of the questions in that section and accurately give the month, day, and year that he/she represented the prior club.

Non-athletes will also be given a unique ID number. They will also be asked for legal first, middle, last and preferred name. Under the question "Birthday" is the word "REQUIRED". If a non-athlete does not provide this information, the program will automatically add the birthdate of 01-01-20. There is a box with 5 questions. Non-athletes are asked to answer only the questions which pertain to them. The 5th question concerns ethnicity and it is asked for the same reasons that it is asked of athletes.

The bottom line is that USS wants to do a better job keeping our local and national membership data up to date, meaning our address and other information that is critical to staying in contact. USS wants to send Splash, camp invitations, and other information which will benefit the membership. It is very important, therefore, that each person completing a registration form take the time to do it accurately and completely. There are further explanations about the unique ID number and ethnicity questions on the PVS web page at www.pvswim.org. If you have any questions that your club registrar cannot answer, please do not hesitate to contact me at (301) 292-5899. Also, please register early so if you have any questions or difficulty in completing the form we can get it taken care of without delaying your membership. Thank you and have a good swimming season.

PVS Webpage Developments -- Dave Scibetta

Editor Note: As our Strategic Planning Committee Chairman, Dave has taken on responsibility for overseeing the development of our webpage. Dave was reelected by the House of Delegates as our Strategic Planning Chair but effective with the new fiscal year (Sept 1) he will also serve in the appointed position of chairman of the newly formed Communications Committee under the Administrative Vice Chairman and in that capacity continue as the driving force for our race along the Information Superhighway.

We continue to look for creative and improved methods to make your PVS webpage the most important and timely information source available to each swimmer and swimming family. The volume of interested swimmers and general web surfers continues to increase with more than 200 thousand hits during key championship time periods. There have been some changes to the website in the past several months and the Fall will bring even more changes as we focus on several new initiatives. We began the process a few months ago to make many of the PVS forms available on the web. You will find forms that range anywhere from travel assistance, scholar athlete, PVS Zone Team apparel, and meet director to coaches continuing education forms. In addition, links have also been included in this section to many USS forms. Hopefully, you have been able to follow the many PVS swimmers in current national and international meets with our links to those external sites; as a matter of fact, we are proud to note that USS considers our site one of the most informative and complete competitive swimming webpages. You can also follow key PVS decisions in the Board of Directors meeting minutes. This Fall we will hopefully bring you more changes including improved search capabilities for swimmers and times, timelines for distance meets, a PVS Bulletin Board, and a comprehensive list of all PVS policies and procedures. Since we will no longer publish a hard copy PVS Aquatics Guide, we will be including all of the information currently in that book - updated of course - on the webpage. As changes occur, we will be able to update the information as soon as we know of a change. Don't forget that you can communicate through the webpage directly with the General Chairman, PVS Administrative Office, and the PVS Webmaster. Several other email addresses of key members in the LSC will also be available in the "PVS Quick Reference List";, which will be added to the webpage this Fall. We welcome your feedback, good or bad, and your suggestions. This webpage is YOUR principal source for communicating within PVS and into the competitive swim world beyond.

Fast Turns -- Dick Rankin

  • Election Results - Coaches: The PVS Board of Directors includes two coaches, elected by the Coach members of PVS. These two individuals are elected to represent the interests of the coaching community on the Board. Dick Rankin wants to express his "thanks" to our past coach representatives: Dave Tonnesen and Kit Mathews. Kit was elected the new Administrative Vice Chairman at our last House of Delegates Meeting and Dave is retiring from the Board. Therefore, the coaches have elected Manga Dalizu, head coach of the Fairlands Aquatics Swim Team, and Eric Moore, head coach at Ashburn Village Swim Team, as the new coaches representatives on the Board. They officially begin their terms on September 1 and will be participating in the USS Convention later that month
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  • Athlete Representative - Election: The Board also includes a Junior and Senior Athlete Representative, who are charged with watching out for the best interests of our athletes. Each year a new junior representative is elected with the previous representative moving up to become the senior representative. An athlete, as with any member of the Board, may be reelected once to the same position. That happened this year when the athlete community reelected Amanda Sovik as our new Junior Athlete Representative. She has served faithfully and well for the past two years and has been instrumental in getting an Athlete's Advisory Committee off the ground. Greg Long, who was our junior representative, moves up to the senior position on September 1.

  • "Why Kids Quit": USS has recently completed a study to determine what motivates swimmers to stay or get out of the sport. Without question the #1 reason for staying or getting out of the sport is related to how much fun the athlete is experiencing. Not surprisingly, coaches are the #1 influence on swimmer retention and parents are a close second. If you want to know how you fit into this picture, I highly recommend you visit the "Coach Education" section of the USS webpage http://www.usa-swimming.org and review the reports on "Why Kids Quit"; and "Fun in Swimming."