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Diving Back In!
The moment we have all been eagerly waiting for is starting to happen across the country. FINALLY being able to jump back into the pool and breathe that sweet, sweet chlorinated air. With restrictions easing across Canada, many facilities have been given the green light and are looking to re-open their doors. However, they do so carefully following health officials and government regulations to protect us all. We have collected some helpful hints as to what you can do to prepare and what to expect for your first time stepping back on deck.

Pool Restrictions/ Protocols
Swimming Canada has released a return to swim document which outlines details on how clubs can safely operate/ implement a return to swim program. A major guideline that stands out in this document is starting with the limitation of 1 swimmer per lane, although some provincial regulations allow for more if physical distancing of 2 meters is maintained. Restrictions on capacity will therefore really vary but, in all cases some sort of capacity restriction will exist on how many people can be on deck/ in the pool at a time.
It will also likely be required that you sanitize your hands upon entry into the facility, pools will be required to have sanitizer available for swimmers to use. But it might be handy to have your own small bottle. Masks have been made required in some cities like Toronto and in others they currently recommended but the situation continues to change.
Additional efforts to maintain physical distancing in facilities such as one-way traffic measures for showers, changerooms, and washrooms will also be common. With some facilities even completely closing off access to changeroom facilities to support physical distancing. So before you head to the pool, make sure to check if the change rooms will be available.

Here are some additional resources on Back to Pool protocols:

These links are provided as reference only, please check with your local government/ facility/ club for specific details surrounding your pool.

Equipment Usage
We have heard in many cities, the use of pool equipment such as kickboard, pull buoys, fins, etc. will be restricted. This is to help reduce common touchpoints and keep everyone safe. So, if you typically borrow any equipment from the pool during your swims, you will need to start bringing your own to the pool. We have created a list of Swim Expert picks for the most likely items you will want to have in your bag.

An item commonly borrowed from the facility but due to restriction, you likely won’t be able to grab one as you walk on deck. It is therefore a good idea to have your own. Our current favourite is the Arena board as its cut outs allow for a wide variety of hand positions.

Pull Buoy
Just like the kickboard, you likely won’t be able to borrow a pull buoy. We are presently in love with the fun colour options the Funkita / Funky Trunks Pull buoys are available in. Its size is also great for adults or kids!

Fins are an important part of every swimmers training program and with grabbing fins from a communal bin being a no go, you will want to have your own pair. Our current Swim Expert picks are:

Mesh Bag
Finally, don’t forget a Mesh bag to carry all this gear! A Mesh bag is a convenient way to carry all your gear. The holes in the mesh are designed so that the equipment can dry in between uses, which helps prevent mold/ mildew from developing. Our favourite is the classic Speedo mesh bag

Limited Training Hours
Due to limitations on the number of swimmers able to be in the pool, many facilities are limiting access by requiring reservations or placing capacity caps on how many athletes can be in the pool making it a first come first serve type situation. You therefore might not be able to get in the amount of training hours you are used to and might want to consider, supplementing your pool work outs. Our swim expert pick to help you do this is the NZ Stretchcordz with paddles. Using them between pool session will help develop and condition those muscles that maybe haven’t got as much use over the past few months. They are available in a variety of tensions; details can be found here

We hope this blog post helps give you an idea of what to expect as you head back to the pool. Please be sure to check directly with your facility/ club on what the exact protocols are for your pool. And as always remember to ‘Be Kind. Be calm. Be safe’ – Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Provincial Health officer.

- TAS Swim Experts