Friday, September 18, 2020

Significant step as clubs return #BackToTheWater

After a long wait, many pools across Scotland are now opening their doors and welcoming back the aquatics community. With the green light given on August 31st, many leisure trusts and aquatic providers have been working tirelessly to ensure a safe and secure environment on returning #BackToTheWater.

This week has seen a significant step in the right direction, with Learn to Swim classes resuming, as well as a growing number of Scottish Swimming clubs returning to training and adjusting to the ‘new normal’.

Acting Head Coach of North Ayr ASC, Alan Dickson, praised the work of his clubs local leisure trust and highlighted the positivity around the clubs return. He said,

“There's a feeling of delight all through the club at getting back to the water. As soon as the swimmers were getting into the first set it felt as if we had never been away, and the frustrations of the last six months had not happened. We have had brilliant support from our pool operator, KA Leisure, who have done all they can to help. They've always taken a constructive and pragmatic approach to agreeing new COVID-safe procedures and we can't thank them enough.”

This sentiment is being echoed throughout the country, with Gordon Glasgow of Swim West Lothian returning to their local facility at Xcite Leisure, aided by a positive mood in the camp. He said,

“Everyone has been really impressed with how easy and relaxed the return to the water has been. Our athletes have done a great job of working to their condition and have come back stronger than before. We have kept it all simple to start with in order to get used to the new protocols but it’s an exciting fresh start and an opportunity to embrace the change as we progress through the rest of 2020.”

Many clubs, such as Swim West Lothian, have taken advantage of online workshops and zoom workouts to maintain and improve physical fitness whilst out of the pool. This has not only benefitted physical conditioning but is also been highlighted as a key part of maintaining social activity among club members.

Musselburgh Marlins Swimming Instructor, Jonathan Sharples, has highlighted this change in culture as a positive step, and is excited by what the rest of the year has in store. He said,

“The feel at the club is so positive, and with every session the kids are growing more engaged and everyone we have spoken to is confident in the club’s ability to run a safe session with the help of our pool provider (EnjoyLeisure).

“The plans going forward will be to continue to review our procedures weekly, build up the swimmers’ confidence by letting them have fun, feel the water again and will also continue to follow all the excellent guidance set by Scottish Swimming, EnjoyLeisure and the Scottish Government. We are really excited to see what the club has in store in the coming weeks and months.”

And it is not just the swimmers who are enjoying being back on poolside. Aberdeen Diving Club (ADC), last week, returned to their excellent facility at Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV). One of the club’s coaches stated how the divers’ hard work during lockdown has paid off on their return, saying

“They team have worked so hard during lock down to stay fit and it's brilliant to see them so excited and happy to be back on the boards. The procedures in place at ASV are very reassuring and both the divers and parents have commented on how safe and confident they feel now that they have returned to training"

ADC Diver, Clara Kerr, also highlighted this by stating,

"It feels really great being back in the water after so many months off, particularly being back to my usual routine with face to face contact with coaches and friends. It’s very rewarding to put all the hard work I did in lockdown to use in the dry land and pool training".

With many more clubs due back in the water, across multiple disciplines, we look forward to hearing from familiar faces. Remember you can keep up to date with all of our latest guidance and information here.