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Thread: Recognition Rings?

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Beards247's Avatar
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    Recognition Rings?

    Jim Miller addressed the issue of recognition rings for people to represent different award categories or to denote positions within our organization in the latest USMS executive meeting minutes (located Here).
    While I applaud the openess of our managment, I still have to ask the question:

    Why do we need rings in the first place? The pro's are we are giving somthing nice to those people who have served USMS well or otherwise extra-ordinary service.

    The con's are much more numerous:
    1) Why spend the money to do this when we can certainly find other uses for it?
    2) If people are that critical to the organization, then they should already know how integral they are.
    3) Any time an item is given to denote someones position in an organization, a level of elitism inevidably creeps in. While it is tempting to do this simple gesture because people volunteer and should feel recognized - Isn't it more that we feel good because we participate and promote an activity important in our lives?

    Pretty easy to see where I fall on this issue, but I am interested in knowing what other peoples view points on "rings of recognition." As a sport why do we need this symbolic gesture?

    If anything, we should give them to people who donate money to the endowment fund...


    Chris B.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member michaelmoore's Avatar
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    I saw a proposal, and I dont know if this is the same one, where the individual would purchase the ring. If you won a national championship, you could purchase a ring commemerating the event. Or if you were the recipiant of the Ransom Arthur award, you could purchase a ring.

    What I had seen, had the individual purchasing the ring. I have no problem with an individual spending money how he/she wants to spend his/her funds.

    With regards to your "cons"
    1) Why spend the money to do this when we can certainly find other uses for it?

    You can always find other uses for money. You choose your priorities. Sometimes it is the recognition of your volunteers.

    2) If people are that critical to the organization, then they should already know how integral they are.

    Your point is? You dont recognize them? I have put in a lot of hours for Masters Swimming, both national and Pacific Masters. It is always very nice to hear a heartfelt thank you. It makes up for the those other comments, where some swimmers think that all I do is sit around and wait for them to contact me so I can do something for them.

    3) Any time an item is given to denote someones position in an organization, a level of elitism inevidably creeps in.

    Fine with me. Maybe we will get more volunteers to join the elite. (Be a USMS volunteer - where the elite meet).

    While it is tempting to do this simple gesture because people volunteer and should feel recognized - Isn't it more that we feel good because we participate and promote an activity important in our lives?

    I think we can do both. It is not an either or situation.

    A couple of years ago I received a USMS Service award (now called the Dorthy Donnelly USMS Service Award). It is a little pin that I proudly wear for special occasions (USMS Convention- or working high level meets). Sometimes I wished I could buy another as I am afraid of losing or misplacing the award.

    michael
    michael moore

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Beards247's Avatar
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    Micheal -

    All good points. If people have the opportunity to buy the rings after they have reached a certain level, then my whole post is moot.

    I would like to clarify my own message though. I volunteer my time for the niagara LMSC, and I certainly appreciate praise when it is given to me. A heartfelt thank you is free - my issue more centered around the monetary end of rewards/awards.

    Elitism in a grass roots organization such as USMS has the potential to motivate people to participate - but there are down sides elitism. Being aware of the negative aspects is crucial.

    Chris B

  4. #4
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see a direct correlation between “Elitism” and recognition.

    What I see in Masters swimming is that the opposite is usually true. Without exception, those in Masters who have been recognized for service, both the Ransom J. Arthur Award recipients and the Dorothy Donnelly USMS Service Award recipients, have been and continue to be some the most altruistic people I have the honor to know.

    I do agree with Chris, that a heart felt thank you and personal praise goes a long way. I believe that each of us should let our coaches, meet directors, volunteers, etc. know that we appreciate their efforts and thank them for a good workout, meet, effort... However, I am also in favor of expending modest funds for a rings or other forms of recognition, as long as we are not designing million dollar super bowl rings or planning to spread them around like Mardi Gras beads. Long after the verbal thanks has been forgotten, the recipients will have a constant reminder of our gratitude for their contributions.

    And to Michael concern. If you do lose your pin, you may purchase a replacement. And, I hope that you will agree that the pin is not reward it is only a token reminder of you being recognized for your contribution and sacrifice to our organization. And, to digress even further – just thinking about being associated with Dorothy brings back such warm feelings and remembrances of this great lady. Her love of our sport and us have once again brought tears to my eyes. Thank you Dorothy!

  5. #5
    Paint test area ahead Michael Heather's Avatar
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    Maybe we should just give out Mardi Gras beads to everyone! Then we all feel like we have been recognized. And some would even be more recognizable with beads on, rather than a ring.

    I know that is as close as I would ever get to recieving the Ransom Arthur Award.

    I yam what I yam

  6. #6
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    FYI, the recognition rings will not be funded with USMS dollars. Rather, the company that sells the rings will be asked to become an official licensee of USMS, thus allowing them use of our logo for the production of these rings. This licensee agreement involves signficant costs from the licensee, so USMS actually benefits financially from this arrangement. If and when this is squared away, information will then be made available to USMS members on how they, individually, may purchase the rings.

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