Magazine Sport Volume 70, Issue 8

Swimming Safely

By Kylie Deng

Throughout the pandemic, sports have slowly weaved their way back to hosting proper practices and some to hosting proper meets and games. One example is a local recreational swim team known as Walnut Creek Swim Club. During the pandemic the team has hosted a fall and a spring clinic to the public in place of regular practices. The team has been doing well, Head Coach Amanda Sheehan said, “We’re doing alright! It’s so hard when we are a team of such history and tradition to not gather together in big groups and celebrate each other. We’ve been able to connect in small clinic groups and keep up with swimming but I am eager to start social events this summer as restrictions hopefully ease!” The team is holding up as time goes on, adapting to the rules placed on social distancing and applying it to the pool swimmers and spectators.

Compared to other swim teams, WCSC resides at Larkey Pool to host their clinics and meets. Even though social distancing hinders their practice and procedures, Larkey Pool is the biggest pool in the league, allowing more swimmers to participate throughout the pandemic. Capacity restrictions have limited lanes to only allow three swimmers per lane compared to a practice that sometimes needs four to five people per lane pre-pandemic. Several lanes allow kids ages six to eighteen to swim three times a week. Another hindrance that the pandemic has caused is meeting up outside of meets and practice to host fun events for the younger swimmers to play and connect with the older swimmers on the team. Currently the rules are much less strict as groups of twenty are allowed to swim together compared to the small number of twelve swimmers in the past clinic. 

As clinics are replacements for practice, the team is preparing to have a proper swim meet around the month of May if possible as the social distancing rules change and let up. Sheehan also said, “We are planning as if everything is happening! Obviously we will follow all safety protocols that are released, but as of now, we are hopeful with all the vaccinations that we will have a semi-normal season!” The coaches along with parent volunteers are working hard on providing the supplies and funds for the planning of future meets. So as time goes on, WCSC is preparing for a safe and exciting swim season for the summer of 2021 for all its participating swimmers.