DMasa provides a framework and support for swimming clubs in Doncaster.
Doncaster has had a competitive swimming club since the mid 1880s, but with new pools shooting up in each of Doncaster's mining villages in the 60s and 70s, many new clubs quickly established themselves and over time formed a local association - DMASA. The association has run ever since and now has a membership of eleven clubs or schemes in the area around and in Doncaster: Adwick, Armthorpe, Dearne Valley, Doncaster Dartes, Don Valley, Edlington, Minsthorpe, Rossington, South Axholme, Spa Askern, and Thorne.
In the early days of DMasa, it was recognised that whilst each individual club produced many talented swimmers between them, singularly they lacked the numbers to be able to compete competitively with the large city based clubs - most notably at the time, Leeds Central. This was especially true in team events. In these early days, the DMasa brought together the best talent in Doncaster to swim as a united team - DARTES, an anacronym of the founding members:
D - Denaby
A - Armthorpe, Adwick
R - Rossington
T - Doncaster Town
E - Edlington
S - Spa Askern
Over time, Dartes were more and more successful, and as coaching skills and knowledge grew in Doncaster, the need for centrally organised training time for those chosen to represent Donacster through Dartes was recognised by the likeminded coaches and club officials at DMasa. At first this was in the form of sessions supplementary to those the clubs offered, and later became a full time training scheme for those swimmers dedicated and talented enough to take a place. The increasing prosperity of the times saw Doncaster Council provide financial stability alongside the club contributions, and the Dartes scheme became a nationally revered force.
Although there have been hiccups along the way, most disappointingly when the Council funding was withdrawn in the noughties, Dartes is still today a nationally successful and now (almost) independent associate of DMasa. It has a dedicated committee who run the scheme efficiently and successfully, and a large band of volunteers who work tirelessly to raise funds through the popular Dartes Open Meets.
Dartes retains ties with DMasa by being part of the association and its Constitution, which means that any swimmer who is a member of a DMasa affiliated club, is also by association entitled to swim as a Dartes swimmer, although if they wish to access the training scheme, they need to speak first with their own Head Coach before contacting the Dartes Membership Secretary. Any swimmers or Coaches from the member clubs, who wish to attend the meets attended by Dartes are always made welcome, please speak to your own Head Coach as a courtesy before contacting the Meet Secretary at Dartes.
Meanwhile, although the training scheme now runs itself, and DMasa probably has a lower profile in the swimming community, the work of the DMasa continues. For anyone unfamiliar with the DMasa and what we do.....
The association aims to:
- Organise teaching and coaching courses
- Organise and assist in the training of officials
- Provide information to the swimming clubs of Doncaster
- Organise and run the Championships of Doncaster
DMasa meets 730pm 1st Tues each month at Adwick in the family room. Each club has 2 votes at the AGM and on monthly matters, although any member of each component club can attend meetings - everyone is welcome.