Louth ‘Dolphins’ return to ‘training’

Louth ‘Dolphins’ return to ‘training’
After 128 days of lockdown on Monday 27th July - Louth ‘Dolphins’ Swimming Club returned to ‘training’ in their home venue – The Meridian Leisure Centre, Louth.
Where to start on what had been an epic journey.
Since the Covid19 enforced lock down restrictions the club has constantly maintained contact with its members, offering support and encouraging fitness activities and heathy eating. Also quizzes, word searches etc. Walks, runs and cycling have made many families more aware of what a beautiful countryside we have around us
Many of the club’s volunteer, teachers/coaches have taken the opportunity to do online courses, including Safeguarding, Mental Health, Team Manager and other CPD’s (Continued Professional Development Courses)
A sponsored run walk bike raised an incredible £ 1,483 for a local NHS charity.
A small group of the Executive Committee plus the Head Coach and an Appointed Covid19 Lead Officer have over the weeks spent many hours in virtual meeting with Swim England and the Magna Vitae management team.
So, after all Risk Assessments and Safety measures put in place they decided to return to swimming on Monday 27th July 2020.
But not as before – the mantra being Safety – Consistency – Robustness – Evolving
With a focus on a return to swimming not competition.
A successful club forms part of a successful leisure centre.
With much consultation and discussion, a plan evolved, entry to the pool hall via the side fire doors, 2-meter distances rules enforced on entry, on poolside and in the double width lanes. Swimmers arrive ‘beach ready’ and leave ‘wet’ via the rear emergency doors to be met by parents in rear car park.
The senior Performance Squad were first back in the water on the Monday spread out over 2 x 1-hour sessions (factoring in a 15-minute clean down)
Lessons were learned and the Development Squad were next in on Tuesday evening.
By Thursday and Friday these two squads were running like clockwork.
Sunday 2nd August was the culmination with Skills Squad returning and all 3 squads were back over a 6-hour period.
Every session the team analyse and adapt this is made all the more worthwhile by our young members smiling faces and the parents gratitude – it speaks volumes that the club has not lost one member, volunteer or Committee members – all returning with a renewed focus and drive.
Chairman Bob Wells – “ We are extremely fortunate that we in Louth and District have a facilities management team in Magna Vitae that care and have been approachable throughout , the reason why we are the first swimming club in the County, Region if not the Country to return to training. My personal thanks go to Naomi Wilkinson-Baker Operations Manager and her team for their help and support. Another important factor to be remembered is that everyone involved with the club is a volunteer doing it for the love of the sport!!
Head Coach Kate Thompson – “We are extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to return to the pool, with so many other clubs sadly not having the same support. Swimming is a key element for many children and being able to return has given so many the routine and a glimpse of normality that they desperately need, the constant smiles say it all. The return is extremely structured and disciplined in line with Government and Swim England guidelines, but all have adapted very well, just happy to be back in the water. Huge thanks to our team of volunteers and Magna Vitae who have made all of this possible. 

Report by Bob Wells – Club Chair

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