View RSS Feed

Questions from Coaches

Building relationships

Rate this Entry
Q: How does my program build a relationship with elected and appointed political leaders in my community?

A: Establishing political clout within your community can serve your program well-especially in the events of reduced pool availability, pool renovation, and new pool projects.

Masters swimmers, unlike age group swimmers, have a political voice though their votes. In addition, adults contribute time, talents, and dollars to political campaigns. Although elected officials should fairly represent their constituency, often, the group with the loudest voice and deepest pockets gets the most attention.

Most programs don't have loud voices and deep pockets. If you do, that's great. If you don't, however, that shouldn't stop you from building relationships with your political leaders. Here are a few ideas on how to do that:

  • Invite an elected official to present a "Swimmer of the Month" award to one of your athletes. That adds up to 12 officials in 12 months.
  • Have an elected official be present at any grand opening or dedication events. This includes a new scoreboard, starting blocks, a pool renovation, anything. Get creative.
  • Recruit an elected official to be the announcer when your program hosts a community fundraiser event such as a wacky relay meet to raise money for a local charity or cause. Invite the local media to cover the event.
  • Recruit an elected official to hand out awards at your swim meet, open water event, and at your program's year-end awards banquet.
  • The more your elected officials know about your program-the diversity, the health and wellness benefits it provides adults, and how vital an asset it is to the community-the more political clout you'll build. Politicians champion great causes. Masters swimming is GREAT!

Submit "Building relationships" to Digg Submit "Building relationships" to del.icio.us Submit "Building relationships" to StumbleUpon Submit "Building relationships" to Google