Sarasota, Florida to Host 2013 Pan American Masters Championship

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U.S. Masters Swimming event to be held at Selby Aquatic Center, May 31 - June 10, 2013

“The Sarasota Family YMCA has one of the most respected aquatic programs, and certainly Masters swimming programs, in the country,” said USMS Executive Director Rob Butcher.

United States Masters Swimming (USMS) is pleased to announce that it will partner with the Sarasota Family YMCA to host the 2013 Pan American Masters Championship May 31 - June 10, 2013. The championship, to be held at the Selby Aquatic Center, part of the Sarasota YMCA’s Evalyn Sadlier Jones branch, will include synchronized swimming, U.S. Masters swimming events and open water swimming events.

“The Sarasota Family YMCA has one of the most respected aquatic programs, and certainly Masters swimming programs, in the country,” said USMS Executive Director Rob Butcher. “They have experience hosting large events and have the facility, volunteers and community support to showcase this international event.”

USMS, the national governing body for adult swimming, bid for and was awarded the championship by the Union Americana de Natacion, an organization that oversees amateur aquatic sports competition in the western hemisphere. This will be the first time the United States will host the biennial event, which is expected to attract up to 2,000 adult participants and their families from South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Canada and the U.S. In addition, the 10-day competitive swimming event will bring millions of dollars to the local economy in Sarasota County.

“Nearly 90 percent of the participants at the Pan American Masters Championship will come from outside of Florida, and more than half from outside the U.S.,” said Jason Puckett, director of the Sarasota County Sports Commission. “We are looking forward to welcoming these athletes to Sarasota County and to hosting the open water event at Siesta Key, which was recently voted the #1 in the United States by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka ‘Dr. Beach.’ The hospitality and experience we offer to these guests will have a long-lasting benefit to Sarasota County and our tourism industry.”

“It is an honor for the Sarasota Y to host the Pan American Masters Championships,” said Sarasota Family YMCA Executive Vice President Jim Purdy. “We recognize the prestige of hosting this international event, and our Sarasota Y Sharks Masters team, Y Synchro team, Sharks age group team and volunteer support team are excited for the opportunity.”

“Our aquatics programs are a treasured resource,” says Nora Patterson, Sarasota County Commission Chair. “We have the U.S. Masters Swimming headquarters, nationally recognized swim programs, organizations like the Sarasota Family YMCA that teach water safety to thousands and now we have a prestigious international event coming to Sarasota County!”

2013 Pan American Masters Championships Schedule:
Masters Synchro:    May 31 - June 2, 2013
Masters Swimming:    June 5 – 8, 2013
Open Water:        June 10, 2013

About U.S. Masters Swimming
U.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1970, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes adult health, fitness, wellness and competition through aquatics. It does so by partnering with more than 1,000 adult swim programs across the country that offer swimming and fitness programs, promotes information via a bimonthly member magazine and usms.org, and sanctions and promotes pool, open water and virtual competitions. More than 55,000 adults are registered members of USMS. For more information, contact us at 655 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 or by phone at 941-256-USMS (8767).

About Union Americana de Natacion
UANA is a sports organization representing the Western Hemisphere, including South America, Central America, Canada and the USA, with the purpose of organizing, supervising and controlling the amateur aquatics activities of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, Masters swimming and open water. For more information, visit uana-aquatics.org.

About the Sarasota Family YMCA
The Sarasota Family YMCA is a charitable nonprofit organization in good standing with the national organization, the YMCA of the USA. The YMCA of the USA exists solely to serve its member associations, currently totaling 2,575 nationwide and in over 120 countries around the world. The Sarasota Family YMCA is home to the nationally recognized age group swim team, the Sarasota YMCA Sharks, and the Sarasota YMCA Sharks Masters.

About Sarasota County Sports Commission
The mission of the Sarasota County Sports Commission, a division of the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau, is to position Sarasota County as the must-experience sports destination on Florida's Gulf Coast through quality events and initiatives. For a list of upcoming events, visit sarasotafl.org/sports.

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