It didn’t come as a surprise second-time around, but our swimmers and their families are still digesting the realisation of a starting 2021 with a second enforced spell out of the pool.
The blanket Level 4 restriction across mainland Scotland from Boxing Day means all leisure centres are forced to close. The Scottish Government says it will be initially for three weeks with a review after a fortnight.
Anticipating the new lockdown Interim Head Coach, Alan Dickson, and senior members of the committee have already formulated a plan for a programme of online – and hopefully also, outdoor – land training in the New Year for all except the youngest, and least exerienced, swimmers.
Under the existing Level 4 guidance in Scotland under-18s are still allowed to take part in non-contact sport outside, and the virtual HIIT sessions and conditioning challenge were well supported in the summer.
“From a swimming perspective, if we had to have a three-week break, now is the time to have it,” says Alan.
“We would have had reduced sessions from Christmas Eve up until 4th of January anyway, so in reality it’s not a full three weeks.
“Although several swimmers were unable to take part for most of November because of neighbouring councils being put into Level 4 for a spell, we have had a useful block of training since September.
“All of them are in a much better place fitness-wise than they were in September, and two or three light aerobic sessions each week will see most of those gains maintained - running, cycling even brisk walking will be sufficient.
Since the return to the water the club has run more than 200 training sessions, and there have been no cancellations as a result of operational or Covid issues at the club.
A number of swimmers had to spend time in isolation – mostly as a result of school cases – but we can confirm that there has not been any need for contact tracing at the club over the last four months.
Although no one on the team will ever be complacent, it would seem to be a clear indication that our protocols work and that our swimming pools are Covid-safe environments.
“We also need to remember that we were a lot more fortunate than some other clubs who never had the chance to get going again,” says Alan.
“Thanks to everyone, Swimmers, Volunteers and Parents for the positivity they’ve shown and hopefully it won’t be so long until we’re swimming again.