The links below are the actuarial work done by Neil Steenkamp who has taken the results from the last 10 X SAMS Championships and come up with some interesting statistical distributions.
(Neil is a CTMSC Committee Member who is happiest swimming huge distances preferably in rough seas on the Atlantic Seaboard at around 9 degrees C; and then topping this by also doing triathlon events and then also marathon events in the Cape, but on top of all this is a regular Masters swimmer at galas.)
The data base will tell you by Masters Swimming age group what the average attendance at National Champs has been over the 10 years per event.
Not surprisingly the 400m individual medley event and 200m butterfly events have not been as well subscribed as the 50m freestyle as an example!!!
And then the graphs also give the records times for each event (in blue) and then the average times (in purple); and then two theoretical times (in red and in green) between the record times and average times to give swimmers targets to swim to (if they are not already setting the records times that is.)
These links, when you think of it, are really a service for all SA Masters Swimmers.
Thank you Neil!!!
Just a note from those of us who have swum in Masters galas overseas : our SA times are very comparable to those seen in Australian and UK Championships.
But then it must be said that times seen in the US tend to be a shade quicker than South Africa’s times.
We need to train hard to match and beat the US Masters times, where it is fair to say that the US times tend to be quicker overall than SA as a group.
Why is this?
Do US Masters swimmers have access to more advanced nutrition than SA Masters swimmers perhaps?
They probably do.
Is it to do with the aggressive feeder swimming programmes run at colleges and universities that develop swimmers for the really big international FINA and Olympic events, and that develop by default a bigger pool of Masters Swimmers ?
Part of the answer is the US Masters group is staggeringly big compared to the smaller SA Masters Swimming group.
The US has over 60 000 registered Masters swimmers (compared to South Africans 800 registered members.)
And the US has some 1 500 Masters Swimming Clubs (compared to South Africans 25.)
To save you picking up a calculating device : this means there are 75 X US Masters Swimmers for every Masters Swimmer in SA ; and there are 60 X US Masters Swimming Clubs for every Masters Swimming Club in SA.
This said SA and CTMSC have a handful of World Champions that have swam through these intimidating statistics, and have managed to shake off even the US and European and South American and Asian competition to be World Champions and become World Record Masters Swimming record holders!!!
CTMSC has also developed and is currently developing Masters Swimmers that are up there in the world rankings.
And we believe fully that there is major untapped talent out there in SA ready to join the Masters Swimming movement, that can do the same and better!!!
Always better : the devolution of the human species : back to the water where we came from.