We are back in the water!

OK so not everyone is yet but we are working on it with our phased approach – below is more info on what’s been going on and how we are bring you back to the pool.

Return to Swim

Covid 19 has been, and continues to be very difficult for all of us, as a club we have been working on returning to the pool since mid-June, writing risk assessments, procedures, and juggling plans around to give us best use of the pool under the new restrictions, despite not having any indication of a return date at that time.

In several of the club’s website and FB posts reference has been made to a ‘phased start’, possibly without enough detail behind it.

Working with the Leisure Centre and within Swim England guidelines we have adopted a 3 phased start plan. This gives us a gradual return of swimmers so they, and the GD staff can understand the safety measures in place around the facility, the key points of our procedures around the pool and the new way of swimming in wide lanes etc. whilst still socially distancing in the water etc.

We appreciate that this approach takes time which may not suit everyone, but to bring you all back at one time is not possible with the social distancing rules we have in place and numbers in the pool being reduced by current guidelines. Therefore, how we put groups into the water had to be managed differently to what was to the old ‘normal’.

This aspect of the Covid 19 measures has possibly been the hardest and it took some time to arrive at a plan that was deemed to be fair to the majority of our swimmers, once we had been given the green light by the LC to return.

At the start of the month we had trial sessions to confirm our risk assessments, procedures and swim plans are effective, and these went very well which allowed us to implement Phase 1.

Phase 1 is Sharks & Piranhas, they started this last week and again sessions went well, and they will continue through next week.

Subject to no issues this week, and no change to the Swim England and Government guidelines, the plan is to implement Phase 2 and welcome back Swordfish, Penguins 3 & 4 and Masters during w/c 20th September. Again, signed documents and payment arrangements must be in place before swimmers are allowed back into the water.

Phase 3 – Penguins 1 & 2 with Goldfish are targeted to return during w/c 4th October subject to current guidelines remaining in place, packs were sent out 10th September. All signed documents must be returned and bank payments set-up by 22nd September to allow you to swim.

Sadly, under current Leisure Centre guidelines we are not able to offer a start date for the small pool return for our Tadpole swimmers

Can I personally thank our swim families for your patience and understanding during these difficult times – we have to work in a way we believe best for all, we believe the measures we have put in place and the phased return approach allows us to minimise any risk to swimmers, our staff and the LC staff.

From worrying about vulnerable people within the family, to kids going back to school, people on furlough or sadly losing their jobs, etc. it is a difficult time for all of us but hopefully with the plan we have in place we can all come together and start to see some normality in the world of swimming.

Nigel Stevenson & The GD Management Team.