USA Swimming Records Largest Single Year Membership Growth

USA Swimming Records Largest Single-Year Membership Growth in 2009

Athlete Membership Increases 11.2 percent, Marking Largest Bump Since First Numbers Recorded in 1986

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Building off the massive success of the 2008 Olympic Games, USA Swimming has seen its largest membership growth in history in the membership year of 2009. Numbers released today show an 11.2 percent increase in athlete memberships, bringing the total number of year-round USA Swimming athletes across the nation to 286,084. The national governing body boasts a total of 315,640 members overall, including coach and non-athlete members.

The 11.2 percent increase significantly outpaced other post-Olympic growth. In 2005, USA Swimming membership expanded by 7.2 percent while membership in 2001 increased by 4.9 percent. Previously, the largest single-year membership gain was 10.1 percent, following the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Along with the recruitment of new members, USA Swimming posted an all-time-high retention rate of 73%.

"There is no doubt that our sport has gained popularity over the last several years, and the awe-inspiring performances by our Olympic Team in Beijing certainly added to that effect," said Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming Executive Director. "While we are excited by this success, we remain committed to working to share our sport with more and more people through exciting domestic events, impactful outreach programs and positive promotion for our sport."

Along with the increase in individual membership, USA Swimming welcomed 99 new clubs in 2009, bringing the total number of year-round member clubs to 2,679. The average USA Swimming member club consists of 106 athletes, the largest number ever. Last year, the average USA Swimming club consisted of 95 members.

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