13th September 2020 notes

Letter from Swim Ireland to all clubs

Dear Members,

Thank you to our club coaches, teachers, committees, and volunteers who have worked more diligently than ever to engage with club members during lockdown, negotiate return to water plans with facilities and initiate new guidelines and protocols to keep our members safe on their return to the water.

Thank you to our club members who have participated in online training sessions, quizzes, and challenges. We have loved watching the creativity shown around the country as clubs created videos and activities to keep in touch and stay motivated. Thank you for the resilience and adaptability you have shown over the last 6 months.

Some of our clubs have been returning to the water since early July. Thanks to those who have shared their Return to Water Story with us. We have featured club stories on our social media over the last few weeks, check them out HERE. Our Clubs and Community Team continue to work with clubs who have not yet secured pool time or finalised their return to water plan.

As we are about to enter a new season, the Clubs and Community team want to take this opportunity to reflect and show appreciation to you, our club members for a season like no other. Like many of you, we were looking forward to an exciting summer of National Swimming Championships, Open Water events, Water Polo Cups, Olympic and Paralympic Games. Whilst we did not get to see you in person this summer, thousands of our members connected with us through live webinars and social media for the first time ever.

The Season Ahead

The 2020-2021 season promises to bring new challenges and opportunities for Swim Ireland, our clubs, and members. We are working closely with Sport Ireland, Ireland Active and other key stakeholders so we can ensure our sport is as vibrant, exciting, and engaging as it has been in previous years. We will continue to offer a wide range of supports and resources to our clubs and members. We also understand how important competitions are to our clubs and are working on a versatile competition programme for all disciplines.

We also want to take this opportunity to reach out and ask for your support this season. We have 3 suggestions that we believe will support our clubs this season:

1.      GET INVOLVED – Now, more than ever our clubs will need volunteers and support from you. Clubs require COVID-19 Officers on duty for each session, check out our e-Learning module, which takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Consider becoming an official or team manager, supporting your club’s fundraising initiatives or joining your club’s management committee.

2.      STAY INVOLVED – When we venture back to diving boards, step up on to the blocks, look out over the sea and prepare for a tough match, we want you there. We want our sport to be competitive, we want our training partners pushing us and opposing teams challenging us goal for goal. Your club needs you and we want you to keep Diving, keep Swimming and keep playing Water Polo. As we enter this new season, we hope you will renew your club membership and continue to be part of the Swim Ireland Family.

3.      TALK TO US – We want to continue to provide the resources and support that you and your club need. We are always open to feedback and welcome new ideas. Drop us a line clubsandcommunity@swimireland.ie, get involved in our virtual webinars and engage with our club support officers.

Competition Update

We are excited to announce that we are currently working on a plan to get athletes back competing as soon as possible, as we are fully aware how much the competitive environment means to us all. In line with government advice around indoor numbers, it will not be possible to run (for the foreseeable future) pool competitions in the way we have become accustomed to, however we are reviewing competition structures at all levels (swimming and water polo) and preparing detailed plans. In the meantime, a brief update on some of the changes:

  • We are preparing plans for clubs to deliver virtual in club competitions, which will form part of the regional qualifying and development meet opportunities for October and November.
  • Regional Short Course Championships are being reviewed and plans being developed to hold these in the original venues, albeit some changes
  • Irish Winter Championships are already being planned and preparation is underway to hold this event as previously advertised in December.
  • The National Water Polo Committee would like to thank all clubs for completing the Return to Water Polo Club Survey. The survey has been reviewed and competition and league plans are being developed for competitive matches to start first week in October.

Remember it is important that to take part in any level of competition you will need to be registered as a competitive member.

There may be some changes to dates as we work through this planning. If you want to keep up to date or have any queries regarding competitions please see our website HERE for all up to date information.

Return to Water Campaign

We are excited to launch a ‘Return to Water’ Campaign. We want all of our members to be reminded of the love and passion that they have for their sport and our ‘Return to Water’ Campaign showcases the joy, the glee, and the thrill of being in the water. The main video feature is told from the perspective of the swimming pool, who has sat calm and empty for such a long period of time, now ready to welcome our members ‘home’. This is a six-week campaign with video and imagery that will be shared across all of our social media channels. You can view the main feature video HERE and make sure to keep an eye out as the campaign progresses over the next few weeks.

Thanks for being with us in 2019-2020 and we hope you to see you soon at a pool, lake, or sea near you!

The Clubs and Community Team

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