With the recent government announcement of in-door swimming pools being given permission to reopen their doors on 25 th July, Hart Swimming Club’s swimmers can’t wait to get back in the water!
Swimmers have been dealt a heavy blow during lock-down, making it impossible to keep swimming until open water swimming in lakes opened in mid-May. However Open Water swimming isn’t for everyone and pool swimmers have had to wait patiently for centres to reopen.
Members at Hart SC have not sat back whilst waiting for pools to reopen, the coaches and
committee have been working tirelessly during all of lockdown to keep members physically and mentally fit.
The HartSC committee realised early on in lockdown that during these unprecedented times, they needed to ensure, that as a club, they remained engaged with their swimmers and families.
Revealing what steps had been taken, a club statement said: “Head Coach Darren Buchan and the committee have been working tirelessly on providing a range of activities, both fitness and social, to ensure our young athletes remain fit and mentally prepared to return to the pool once safe to do so.
“Our virtual weekly fitness schedules have been really positively received and have kept our young swimmers and our masters swimmers active during lock-down as well as the Weekly Coaches Challenges such as ‘Who can hold the plank the longest’.
“The committee also organised a series of educational talks from current and former Olympians and Sports TV Broadcasters which have included Sports TV Broadcaster Rob Walker, Olympian James Guy, Olympian and TV broadcaster & personality Sharron Davies, Olympian’s Katy Sexton, Hannah Miley, brother’s Max & Joe Litchfield and Olympian Siobhan-Marie O’Connor. They were also joined
by double World Champion 10K Open Water swimmer Keri-anne Payne and most recently, Olympian and President of the Swimathon Charity, Duncan Goodhew. These talks have been a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal advice from some of TeamGB’s greatest Olympians, helping to educate our swimmers and push them further in their swimming careers. The club also made a wide range of swimmer advice and resources available to our members such as links to free online Yoga classes and swimming techniques.”
“Meanwhile, a fun range of activities has also been laid on including lots of virtual competitions helping to keep kids busy and engaged around homeschooling as well as organising Virtual family social events such as virtual quizzes over Zoom. Our coaching team has also been hosting weekly Squad Zoom calls, so all swimmers could see their friends and socially interact with their swimming team mates. We’ve viewed these activities and social interactions as vital in keeping our swimmers mentally active Via Social Media, the club also challenged the local community of Fleet to build their own swimming
pools using Minecraft or Lego. Some of the creativity sent in was just fantastic and it was great to see the residents of Fleet get so involved with the club.”
Swimmers also made a range of fun video compilations with each other to keep socially active and have fun together. Head over the clubs Facebook page by searching for @HartSwimming to check out some of the fantastic videos created!
“As a club we also took the opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of our NHS during these difficult times. We challenged our swimmers to virtually cross the English Channel as many times as possible whilst raising money for the Frimley Health Charities’ Covid19 Fund. Our swimmers ran, cycled or walked over 2,600km and raised over £1000 for the charity. Helping raise much needed funds for our local hospitals and keeping our swimmers fit and active in the process!”
“Hart SC is also committed to providing access to qualified and knowledgeable land training coaches to compliment our pool training during our normal training schedules and as soon as government guidelines permitted, the committee and coaching team worked as quickly as possible to open up our land training sessions once more to our swimmers. Coach Graham took on the challenge immediately and has now been working with our Performance Squads for the past few weeks in safe and socially distanced facilities.”
The club now turns its attention to getting their swimmers back in the water and again the coaching team and committee are working flat out with EveryoneActive at Hart Leisure Centre to ensure a safe return to the pool under the Swim England guidelines as close as possible to the 25th July date outlined by the government.