One of the first clubs in NI to get back swimming!

August 10, 2020

'Coronavirus will never affect us - sure it is on the other side of the world', we said. Little did we know what was in store.

As it started getting closer and the number of cases started to rise, we had to keep asking: 'Should we stop? Should we still swim? Does chlorine kill it?' 'Sure, we will keep going if schools and the pool remain open.'

Decisions, questions, meetings and then Boris said 'lockdown' and a series of late night emails closed down our swimming for who could tell how long.

What now? Well, we had not heard of Zoom, Google Classroom, Seesaw or even Furlough, but two weeks later these would be the solutions driving us forwards.

Zoom Training: What is the time?! Yes, you must do it! What is the code?! What is the password?! I have no Wi-Fi!! Mute - Unmute! Is the camera on!! Shouting upstairs, 'are you doing it?' 'I cannot hear you!' Jumping up and down!!

Zoom club quizzes: Great to see everyone - faces, smiles, lockdown beards and hair styles!! Trying not to come last in the quiz!!

We muddled through until a roadmap to unlocking the country appeared. Swimming seemed a long way off, pools scheduled for right at the end, so we put our heads down again. We kept the Zoom training going, hoping it would help our squads be better swimmers when we get back. We stuck to the Zoom committee meetings, went to all the Swim Ireland Webinars and tried to keep up with COVID-19 rule changes and social distancing changes.

Then there was light at the end of the tunnel! Time to work hard. What will numbers be like? What pool time will we get? How many per lane? What strokes are allowed/not allowed? Webinars, emails, What’s Apps, spreadsheets.

Lead COVID-19 officer (never heard of it) - COVID-19 training, COVID-19 apps, COVID-19 officers, Google forms, 'arrive beach ready' - we are getting there.

Finally, we get the timetable we have been waiting for - 1st August - alarm set.

Time to swim.

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Special thanks to Stan Sheppard and the coaching team for keeping everyone going throughout and working with Lagan Valley Leisureplex and Lisburn & Castlereagh Borough Council in allowing us to be one of the first swimming clubs in Northern Ireland to return to the water.

If your club wants to share their Return to Water story, please email clubsandcommunity@swimireland.ie

visit lisburncityswimmingclub.org