Solo Swims of Ontario Inc.
Overview of SSO
THE ORGANIZATION: As a result of a fatal accident during an attempt to swim Lake Ontario, Solo Swims of Ontario (SSO) was formed in 1975 as a non-profit, government-sponsored
volunteer body. SSO became incorporated in 1990, and was registered as a Charity on 1st December 2004.
- SSO now operates as a registered corporation, working with a not-for-profit goal.
- For 20 years, from its inception in 1975, SSO worked with an annual operating grant from the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation of the province of Ontario. These grants were
administered by the Ontario Sports Centre who also assigned a Program Consultant to monitor the operations of SSO. In line with other Ontario government cut-backs, this grant was gradually
eroded from a peak of around $15,000 in the 1980's down to $6,761 in the 1995 season, before being discontinued in 1996.
- SSO is first and foremost a safety organization.
- It is recognized as the provincial swimming body for governing individuals participating in a long distance solo swim in Ontario.
- The organization is run by a volunteer Board of Directors, with the support of an Advisory Committee.
MANDATE: The purpose of SSO is to ensure that all open-water, solo, long-distance swims in Ontario adhere to strict safety guidelines, with particular attention to cross-lake swims in the Great
Lakes - including Georgian Bay, and Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Huron.
- The organization's role is to provide advice prior to, and during, a long distance swim, and to ensure the safety of all concerned, including swimmer, pacers, and crew.
- SSO's goal is to encourage marathon swims, and to help achieve a safe and successful long distance swim.
THE CHALLENGE: For every marathon swimmer, the challenge is to "beat the lake", to complete the swim, to "go all the way" and, to meet this challenge, a marathon swimmer must have
good planning, determination, dedication, strength, endurance, and good luck. The swimmer must be mentally and physically prepared, well trained, and committed.
SANCTION: Anyone considering the challenge of a long distance solo swim in Ontario must have the swim sanctioned by Solo Swims of Ontario Inc.
SSO ASSISTANCE: To meet the challenge, SSO provides the following assistance:
- SSO assigns one of its representatives, the Swim Master, to every swimmer, and the Swim Master accompanies the swimmer on the swim to ensure that all safety requirements are fulfilled;
- The Swim Master is the key to the safety philosophy employed by SSO and this individual is certified to meet stringent criteria;
- The Swim Master establishes the swimmer's competency to attempt a marathon by observing a mandatory outdoor ten-mile trial swim, or the swimmer provides certification of an equivalent swim
in the same season;
- SSO provides every aspirant with an information kit containing a checklist of necessary items and equipment.
RECOGNITION: All successful swims are registered in the SSO Record Book, and a certificate is awarded to the successful swimmer.
INFORMATION: Further information can be obtained from The Secretary of SSO.
SSO Home Page | Contact WebMaster
Created: 15th December 1998
Last Updated: 14th January 2011