Solo Swims of Ontario
noun - Solo Swims of Ontario Inc. (SSO) was formed in 1975 as a non-profit, government-sponsored, safety-focused volunteer body. SSO became incorporated in 1990 and was registered as a Charity on 1st December 2004.
SSO works 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. It is the governing body for swimmers attempting marathon solo swim in Ontario.
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.
SSO'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.
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.