The sun was shining on our swimmers as they returned to face-to-face group training for the first time in five months at Irvine Beach Park.
It was a relief for members of the National, Youth and Gold squads who spent most of lockdown training in their bedrooms in front of a screen during the virtual sessions organised by the club.
“The session went really well,” says coach, Alan Dickson. “The kids worked hard, and it was brilliant to see them coming together as a group after so long. I know the other squads will be absolutely desperate to share that feeling, as am I.”
So, following the success of the first session – and the road-testing of the necessary Covid-19 safety procedures – we are aiming to organise additional sessions for members of the Silver squad starting the weekend 15/16 August.
Sessions are by invitation only and all eligible swimmers will be receiving emails from the club with details of the steps which are necessary to take part.
These include the induction and health screening procedures which are required by Scottish Swimming and Sport Scotland before swimmers are able to take part in training sessions.
All activities at these sessions are monitored by Covid Officers to ensure compliance with the rules, and in order to expand these sessions to the younger swimmers we need more parents to volunteer to take on these vital roles.
The key requirement is that all Covid Officers must hold a current PVG certificate with the club.
In the weeks ahead the club will organise to put volunteers through the application process, but in these early stages we’re going to be relying on those in the club who already have the paperwork.
The main part of the role involves controlling access to the field of play (where the activities are taking place), monitoring the session to ensure guidelines are being followed and checking all swimmers have completed their induction and health screening before joining in.
If we can get this right now it will make our eventual return to the pool a lot easier as the kids will be familiar with a lot of the processes which are going to become a familiar part of our sporting lives for the foreseeable future.