Returning to Swimming
Although the government have not yet confirmed a date that pools can open Swim England have provided guidance for returning to swimming as we come out of the current COVID lockdown situation. We are using this to help our planning and be ready for when it is possible to swim again. The guidance covers a wide range of aspects including advice for pool operators, swimming lessons, squad sessions as well as considerations for access to and from the pool.
It is clear that to start with things will be very different. Social distancing will remain in place and activities will have to be set-up to reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19 as much as possible.
At the current time with the recommended restrictions required to run lessons we have taken the difficult decision to delay any return until after the summer break, in September. With the distancing requirements of running lessons, and restrictions on the ability to have any teachers or helpers in the water at all we feel we cannot offer the level of lessons we would like.
We would expect this situation to have changed after the summer and for lessons to begin as soon as possible in September. We know this will be disappointing for many swimmers, as it is for our teachers and volunteers but being able to run our sessions as best as possible is paramount.
We will be in touch with all swimmers from our lessons when we have more information on when we can return to swimming.
It may be possible to bring back squad sessions before the summer, depending on agreement on proposed approaches to squads and through working with the leisure centre to ensure this can be done safely.
In the short term things will be very different. The current recommendations include double width lanes (so 3 lanes rather than six), basic training with lower impact, reducing elevated heart rates and heavy breathing. All swimmers will need to bring pre-filled water bottles which are labelled with names, all kit on poolside in a kit bag. It will be recommended swimmers come to the pool with costumes on, warmed up and ready to train.
Details of all of these arrangements are being worked on and risk assessed. As part of this we need to know the likely number of swimmers at sessions depending on when we are able to return.
To aid us with this it is important that everyone completes the following questionnaire – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BLL6Q3F – by the 12th July.
This will allow the planning of our sessions, risk assessments to be completed and further details of returning to swimming put together.
It is going to be a requirement that all swimmers bring their own equipment to training sessions. We will publish information on this and recommended links here. It will be recommended that all swimmers have their own snorkel, fins and pull bouy. Please look out for further details here and on social media.