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Local swim club celebrates a milestone

This spring marked the 30th anniversary of the Different Strokes Swim Team (DSST), San Diego’s LGBT swim club. DSST features a membership of over 100 men and women, while hundreds of other members have participated in team events in the past.

The origin of DSST dates back to 1985, when the group was formed in order to prepare for the first-ever Gay Games, held in San Francisco that year.

Just two years later, San Diego had already begun hosting the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics championships. Its members have participated in Gay Games as far away as Amsterdam (1998) and Sydney (2002), and some current DSST members will be participating in this year’s IGLA meet Aug. 5 – 8 in Stockholm, Sweden.

On Sept. 12, the club will be commemorating its anniversary with a 30th anniversary swim meet, an event that also includes a Friday evening happy hour.

DSST is actively recruiting new members, regardless of experience or skill level, and even offers a full month of free membership for those who join. Memberships can be as low as $40 per month, or “drop-ins” pay $10 per session to use the pool.

“[We] welcome all swimmers without discrimination,” said DSST President Joe Clauson. “[When I joined] I was primarily a runner, but took some night classes to learn all strokes and endurance. After I felt comfortable, and after several of those swimming classes, I finally took a leap to show up to a masters practice to see if I’d feel welcome.”

Read the full story on SDGLN media partner Gay San Diego HERE.