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Downtown Swim Club – All OUT Swim 2013

By Downtown Swim Club

Dowtown Swim ClubDowntown Swim Club (“DSC”) is hosting All OUT Swim 2013 on April 20, 2013!  DSC just marked it 25th Anniversary last year.

The Downtown Swim Club is a Toronto Masters swim club founded in 1987 and registered with Masters Swimming Ontario and International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA). Through IGLA, Downtown Swim Club is associated with the Federation of Gay Games (FGG). Downtown Swim Club is also a member of GLISA, the sanctioning body for the Outgames.

The seed of the idea that was to become the Downtown Swim Club was planted when Gerry Oxford and Bill Eadie participated in the Gay Games in San Francisco in August 1986. There we met swimmers from organized Gay Masters clubs on the west coast. Why not a gay Masters swim club in Toronto, we said? At the same time, Gerry’s friend Brian Pronger expressed interest in starting a running group. So we placed an ad in XTRA (Toronto’s gay newspaper) to determine interest in gay swim and running groups. The meeting attracted 80 – 100 persons to a tiny 3rd floor meeting room at 519 Church; 80% of the attendees claimed to be interested in swimming. Most, it turns out, thought we meant a bit of dog paddle with martinis on the pool deck, so those persons didn’t make it to even the first workout. The running club was initially called Running Wilde, and is now FrontRunners. So Toronto’s lesbian/gay swim and running clubs are both exactly the same age.

As a result of this encouraging first meeting, the following Tuesday – February 10, 1987 – about 20 of us simply showed up at Jimmie Simpson Pool, and the Downtown Swim Club (DSC) had its first workout during adult length swim. To restore some order to the adult length swim program, the pool manager quickly approved separate pool times for our club. For several years, DSC practiced late on Wednesdays – from 9:45 to 11pm – until we finally negotiated an earlier time. Initially, the club was so popular that we actually had a waiting list for new members, and had to limit practices to a maximum of 35 swimmers. However, there were also times during the first several years when practices were poorly attended; Gerry Oxford recalls remember coaching as few as 6 people occasionally.

In July 2001, DSC hosted the 12th IGLA (International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics) competitions. Two years of planning by club members produced the biggest IGLA ever with over 900 participants – including 23 divers and 10 water polo teams. New swim records included five individual Canadian records and 114 IGLA records. Members of DSC set new Ontario times for five individual events and two relays. Social highlights of the four-day weekend were a reception at City Hall, a boat cruise on Lake Ontario, dozens of hosted dinners, and an awards banquet and dance at historic Fort York.

IGLA 2001 ended up being a huge catalyst for club growth. The swim club membership grew, seeing increased practice times (from 3 to 5 times per week), an increasingly professional coaching team, and swimming at larger venues (namely, the beautiful University of Toronto pool).  Just as exciting was the emergence of our water polo team, the Toronto Triggerfish.

Join Downtown Swim Club for All OUT Swim 2013!

All OUT Swim 2013 is 50m LCM meet with Electronic timing in the fantastic Varsity Center pool at the University of Toronto. All are invited to join the Downtown Swim Club and hundreds more swimmers at this fun and friendly BIG Gay Swim Meet!

Come OUT and set a record.

Online and mail in registration is now open:

Early Registration discounts until March 4th
Discounts for teams of 8 or more until April 10th




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