August 10, 2020

The last time Portadown Amateur Swimming Club were in the pool was 12 March 2020, and it felt like an absolute eternity before we got back in on Monday 3 August 2020.

However, although we were unable to train in the water during these months, we did not let that beat our spirit as a Club!

We had several challenges, videos, and workouts including: -

  • Stay home, Stay Safe video message
  • Toilet roll/float video
  • Hat challenge
  • Butterfly challenge
  • Guess the coach challenge
  • Swimmers tethering themselves to fence and swimming in a paddling pool!
  • Healthy cooking challenges
  • Weekly online circuit classes
  • Couch to 5K (still ongoing)

Behind the scenes Committee and Coaches have been working hard to put all this together and stay in constant contact with their members. In addition to this Committee has continued to meet with online meetings and Coaches have availed of the opportunity to gain further CPD points.

Coaches and Committee worked with Council to secure a date for their return to water. Coaches confirmed dates and swim times for squads and Committee worked on getting ready for a return with the restrictions in place to follow Swim Ireland guidelines.

We have an app for all swimmers to register before they commence their session, and this is working seamlessly. Committee, Coaches, and parents are COVID-19 trained and our return has been a huge success.

Head Coach Conor starred in a video which offered a walk-through of how it would all work before the swimmers commenced on Monday. This really helped ease nerves of both PASC parents and swimmers as they knew in advance what to expect, and we also received lots of positive feedback from LASC & LMSC swimmers who are now enjoying training at Cascades.

Swimmers attend the pool ‘beach ready’, they are met at the door by a COVID-19 trained parent, marked off the app that they have registered, informed of their swim lane and which bay to place their bag. They enter the building, sanitise their hands and move onto poolside.

Lanes are restricted with numbers and swimmers each have their allocated starting & finishing point in the lane, which they all adjusted to during the first session – fast learners 😊! Once the session is complete the swimmers vacate the pool lane by lane, go to their bay, towel off, sanitise hands and exit via a different door. The next session then enters poolside.

It is working out extremely well and the smiles of the swimmers faces to be back in the water was a joy to be seen. One positive of this is that Coaches are getting more opportunity to really focus on the swimmers with less in the pool.

One of the main highlights of returning to water was that we got back ‘home’ to Cascades Swimming Pool. We were due to be moving to the Council's new pool but this enviably has been delayed which meant we got back to our old faithful pool and will now be able to say goodbye before moving in at some stage over the next few months!

We would to thank everyone involved in making our return a huge success – Coaches and Committee for their hard work making it all possible, parents for undertaking training and taking up their COVID-19 Officer duties and finally the swimmers for taking all the changes on board and embracing the ‘new normal’ of their training sessions.

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

visit portadownasc.com