Mason Sets Stage for Olympic Dreams

City dedicates space to 50 meter aquatic center as 11 Mason Manta Rays achieve Olympic trial cuts.

October 1, 2019 – The City of Mason announced today it will set aside space for a state-of-the-art aquatic center that will be a gamechanger for competitive swimming across southwestern Ohio.   A Matter of 50 fundraising committee will work to close the public funding gap by raising $5 million in private funding.

“When we established the Mason Manta Rays 15 years ago, we had no idea how successful this program would become,” said Chrissy Avery, Parks and Recreation Director with the City of Mason. “We’ve grown to more than 300 swimmers and have a wait list of 150. We will create a 50-meter aquatic center. This is a huge deal for everyone interested in competitive swimming and aquatic sports.”

The Mason Manta Rays are a USA Swimming Gold Medal Club, ranked in the top 1% of 3,000 USA Swimming teams and is the highest rated team in the country without a 50-meter pool.  Manta Rays have competed in every Olympic Trial since 2008, and so far 11 Manta Rays will compete in the Olympic Trials for the 2020 Games. Mason Manta Rays Swim Coach Ken Heis said training in a 50-meter pool is what the world’s best swimmers do and he appreciates that the City of Mason is giving the Manta Rays that competitive advantage.

“We’ve sent 100 swimmers to 50 different universities on scholarship and five swimmers have represented the United States internationally,” said Heis, who coached the USA National Team.  “We are excited the City and A Matter of 50 Meters wants to create an environment where even more swimmers have the opportunity to achieve Olympic dreams.”

The new Mason Municipal Aquatic Center will be versatile and designed for swimmers of all ages and abilities, providing a foundation for an even stronger competitive program. This year-round facility will feature a 10-lane, Olympic-sized venue and can be reconfigured for a 20-lane, short-course venue. Two full competition pools with warm-up areas are possible. The aquatic center will open up opportunities for programs like Masters’ swimming and Triathlon training as well as Special Olympics and Paralympics events.

A Matter of 50 Meters Chair Kathy Fish said, “The new aquatic center will have an economic impact across the region as we attract large, revenue-producing events. This will make a difference for swimmers and be a true asset for the Southwestern Ohio swimming community.”

Learn how you can contribute to a Matter of 50 Meters by visiting www.amatterof50meters.org

For more information regarding the Mason Aquatic Center please visit www.imaginemason.org

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This press release was shared by local organization and partner of the City of Mason, A Matter of 50 Meters.

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