MCSL turns 60!

By: Reach for the Wall Staff
Featured graphic: MCSL 60th Anniversary Logo, courtesy of Andrew Arai, MCSL

This summer, the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL) is celebrating its 60th year of competition. As written in the bylaws, the MCSL serves two purposes:
A. Sponsor competitive swimming among member teams in Montgomery County, Maryland. and

B. Develop a love for the sport of swimming, advanced aquatic skills, teamwork, and the principles of good sportsmanship.

During the span of 60 years, the MCSL has grown from 6 teams (in 1958) to 90 (6 teams each in 15 divisions A-O), providing opportunities for over 8,000 young swimmers year-by-year to learn/participate/compete in this great sport. The decades of growth and sustainability of the league is a testament to the dedication of the thousands of volunteers that provide the governance as well as assist with coordinating and running the weekly competitions. As current swim parents (and volunteers) we are appreciative of what the league is able to provide our children and at times are in awe of the talent (past and present) that has been developed with the league as an entry point.

Back in 2008, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the MCSL spruced up the logo and the process was described by Sally MacKenzie (who was MCSL president in 2008) in her blog about the 50th season of the MCSL: ‘All about the logo‘.

This past Fall, the MCSL board held another contest to develop a logo to commemorate the 60th anniversary. The contest ran from November 4th through December 31, with the winner chosen in January. The competition was announced through the MCSL network of clubs and we advertised through our site: MCSL logo Competition.

We caught up with current MCSL President, Andrew Arai, to get his input on the competition.

RFTW: Last Fall MCSL conducted a logo competition to honor the occasion of turning 60 (woohoo!)- how many entries did you receive?

Andrew: We are excited about the upcoming 60th anniversary of the MCSL. We held a Logo Contest from November 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. There were 7 entries – all had merits. The Board selected the following logo:

MCSL 60th Anniversary Logo, courtesy of Andrew Arai, MCSL

RFTW: Who was the winner?

Andrew: The winning design was submitted by Calverton Assistant Coach Abbey Holmes who clearly has talents in graphical arts in addition to swimming

RFTW: What are future plans for the logo? We see that there is merchandise available for purchase- who benefits from the proceeds?

Andrew: The logo has been featured on the cover of our published materials like the MCSL Handbook of rules and Team Contact information. The logo also appears on the cover of the Officials Guide, a handy pocket version of the rules for officials. Look for the logo at the Coaches Long Course Meet and All Star Meets.

You noticed that merchandise is available through a web portal:

We are hoping this will be approximately a income neutral fund raiser that offsets the cost of some surprises at the Long Course and All Star Meets.

We have one other big event this year. After many years of fundraising, we have worked closely with the City of Rockville to replace the Scoreboard at the Rockville Outdoor Pool. A brand new Colorado Timing System was installed in May. The scoreboard saw first use at the Maryland State LC Championship Meet at the beginning of June. The scoreboard is a part of a long term agreement with the City of Rockville. We are looking forward to many years of holding the major MCSL meets at the Rockville Outdoor Pool and our continued partnership with the Rockville staff.

The RFTW staff also caught up with Abbey Holmes and Laura Hutchcroft from Calverton, who teamed up to develop the logo and tagline. Calverton is a mainstay in Montgomery County and the league, 2015 marked their 50th year in operation. Also, according to MCSL historian Sally MacKenzie, Calverton entered the league in 1968, making this summer their 50th of competition!

RFTW: What motivated you to enter the competition?

Laura: Calverton has a long history of participation in the MCSL swim and dive leagues. We were motivated to represent our club and the Calverton community.

RFTW: How did the process go in choosing the color scheme? How did you decide on the tagline ‘Home Is Where The Pool Is’

Laura: I put a lot of thought into visualizing what I would want to wear and an appropriate slogan. The idea that the pool is our second-home rang through as I recalled when growing up, our parents brought our family (of 8 kids) to Calverton daily to take advantage of the 5 acres of fenced in property for our summer fun. Calverton had, and still has a multitude of activities from swimming(obviously), diving, volleyball, basketball, and enough space to just have an area to relax…it has something for everyone. During the summer months this was our home. I feel the same way today as I go there with my family. The sense of family, community and just feeling that Calverton is our ‘happy place’. So ‘Home is Where The Pool Is’ was easy to develop because it really is true for my family and is relatable to families across the county.

Abbey: The color scheme of the design is modeled off of the Maryland flag, and many people don’t know what the Maryland flag looks like. The colors raise awareness of the flag and give the design a sense of pride in our flag and our state! The design was specifically made using the shape of Montgomery County. It shows that we belong to the Montgomery County Swim League, but the larger logo outside of it is a representation of how we’re all heading to the same goal, being spreading the love of swimming throughout the county!

I reached out to my team reps for ideas on the logo, and Laura came up with a fantastic idea for it! She made up the slogan and I thought it was brilliant, so I incorporated it into the design; Laura is the think-tank behind a lot of my slogans on designs for the team!
The process was long and tedious, and I had to go through a LOT of drafts in order to find the best one, but eventually I came to a consensus with myself and my team reps, which went on to become the winning logo! I’m thrilled to see people rocking my design all over the county!

Wrapping up our communication with the winners, we asked if they received the advertised grand prize: ‘various items with the logo such as a t-shirt and other small items (such as car magnets, stickers, etc) as produced by MCSL’, and as of the publish date, they have not… The MCSL did say they have several events planned for the summer, so hopefully they’ll get to show off their handiwork with some items soon.

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