This has been a very challenging time for our club, and we recognise that being out of the water for such an extended period of time has been difficult for our members. We are pleased to inform you that we are now starting to prepare for a ‘Return to Water’ through a club-specific Framework prepared by our governing body Swim Ireland. This Return to Water Framework (see attached) is aligned to the Government’s phased approach and we are working closely with Swim Ireland to get our club into a state of readiness for a return to club activities. At this stage, Swim Ireland have no confirmation as to what date pools may reopen across the island. While we are all hopeful that this will be the end of June (in Ireland) we must emphasise that this is yet to be confirmed and the position may well be that we cannot return to Phase 4.
Now that Swim Ireland have provided us with this Framework, we have been advised we will receive further information and resources in the coming weeks to assist us, and we will work through these with our Head Coach and Fermoy Leisure Centre to allow us to be ready when pools start re-opening. We must recognise that some pools may open earlier than others and it is important that we remain patient and work with and Fermoy Leisure Centre to mitigate against as much risk as possible. We would ask all members not to approach the facility on behalf of the club as the Committee and the Head Coach have already started these conversations. We are confident that if we follow Swim Irelands Framework, which are in line with Government public health guidelines, it will be a safe and smooth transition for our members to return to the pool. The current HSE advice in relation to the impact of COVID-19 in chlorinated environments states that ‘adherence to current recommended disinfection practice
We are adopting a conservative and measured approach to a re-start but hope that things will evolve quickly. It is not possible to eliminate the risk of the spread of the Coronavirus completely and that we will work with all stakeholders to minimise risk; this concept must be fully understood and accepted by our members and the parents of our members who are minors.
We will be appointing a COVID-19 Officers to action the necessary requirements and advices within the Framework and they will help ensure the club is maintaining the required recommendations. Swim Ireland will also provide training for the COVID-19 Officers, risk assessment templates which we will be required to complete, further webinars and health & safety workshops to upskill our volunteers.
If you are interested in undertaking the training for the COVID Officer, and we would recommend as many parents as possible take the 1 hour training, COVID Officer Training Dates are listed below.
To apply, search COVID-19 Compliance Officer Training on Events and Courses page https://swimireland.azolve.com (only need to attend once)
• Wednesday 24/06/2020 19.30-20.30
• Friday 26/06/2020 14.00-15.00
• Wednesday 01/07/2020 18.00-19.00
• Friday 03/07/2020 14.00-15.00
• Wednesday 08/07/2020 19.30-20.30
• Friday 10/07/2020 14.00-15.00
We are in contact with Fermoy Leisure Centre and we will be working with the pool to support them in developing protocols for our members and to make the return financially viable for our club. We must also remember that the opening of the pool also needs to be financially viable. In the first instance, this may not be a return to normal or regular club activities and may require modifications to the squad structures and session times/lengths that will provide suitable training opportunities for all of our membership.
In order to prepare the squad structures for the return to training, could we ask each family to confirm if you will be returning to training when the Club starts sessions again so to allow us to plan for the reopening.
We have also attached a letter to our swimmers from Swim Ireland’s National Children’s Officer.
In the short term we will continue to attend the ‘Return to Water’ webinars provided by Swim Ireland and will update you with any developments in due course.
Fermoy Swimming Club Committee