Back to the pool

Hooray! After a long lockdown absence we’ll finally be getting back to the pool this Thursday, August 6th. They’ll be a few differences though, and some new ways to get used to as we work out how to socially distance. Here’s what you need to know…

The basics

You should follow current government guidance on social distancing, face coverings and other mitigation measures at all times.

Do not come to the pool if you or any member of your household has symptoms of COVID, or if you or anyone in your household has been contacted by NHS test and trace and asked to self isolate.


In the poolTo avoid crowds, we will not be allowed into the pool until the Sharks have left. We’ll also need to be out of the pool by 8:50pm to allow for cleaning between sessions. Please don’t arrive early, but try to get to the leisure centre as close to 8pm as you can. We mustn’t do the usual gathering around in the foyer before our session. Also, please aim to finish your swim or training in plenty of time to allow you to be away from the poolside by 8:50pm.

Arrive in your swimwear

Arrive in your swimwear. Clearly you can wear normal clothes over them, nobody is expecting budgie smugglers or banana hammocks to be paraded across the car park, but you should be able to get ready for your swim poolside and not use the changing rooms at the start of our session. There will be a one way system in place that means visiting the changing rooms at the session start is not an option.

You can use the changing rooms at the end of the session if needed, but please don’t loiter. Shower, change and go.

Kit assembly

Arrive with your kit assembled as far as possible. If you do have to set up kit, please use the whole pool edge rather than just the area by the shallow end to ensure we can maintain distance between members. Kit should also be clean and dry when you arrive.

Please bring a mask defogging solution. No spitting in masks!


We want to minimise the handling of cash. Please pay either by contactless, or consider paying for several (say 5) sessions up front by direct bank transfer.

No swim lane

Unfortunately, to ensure we comply with guidelines we have had to remove the swim lane for the short term. We will reinstate this as soon as practically possible. The stamina lane will be widened to ensure the stamina folk can maintain social distance.

Stamina lane arrangements

The stamina lane is going to have to look a little different too:

  • You should avoid gathering at the ends for a rest or a chat, or between exercises
  • You should keep moving, without pausing between lengths. If you need a break, step out of the pool for a few minutes, and make sure you maintain social distancing from others poolside
  • A board with the night’s stamina workout routine will be placed at the deep end of the pool. You can use the board to follow a set work out, or do a different routine if you wish
  • As always, movement is clockwise. The lane will be wider and you should ensure you leave adequate gaps between each person


Initially, priority in the pool will be given to current members under instruction. Until we get the hang of working in the new ways we won’t be offering any try-dives, or recruiting new members. There are all sorts of things instructors will need to be aware of, but here are a few things you may see that are a bit different:

  • Briefings (‘SEEDS’) should be done in advance and virtually, as a far as possible
  • ‘Dry runs’ won’t be so dry. We’ll do them in standing depth in full kit, with masks on and regs in
  • Some skills will need to be modified to avoid sharing regs etc (e.g. AS)
  • For obvious reasons, we can’t teach rescue breaths at the moment. Unfortunately, this is going to mean that we won’t be able to sign off any Sports Divers

Casual SCUBA

We are a SCUBA club, so we don’t want to limit Scuba in the pool, but at least for the initial few weeks we would ask that casual SCUBA and skill practice is kept to a minimum to allow us to focus on the trainees. If you have an urgent need to test some kit for an upcoming trip then please do go ahead, but if you just want to check that your reel is still 40m long, please consider doing this in your garden. If you are planning on getting in the pool to test some kit, please let the Training Officer (Chris Hastie) know in advance so that we have an idea of numbers.


If you’re not getting in the pool and don’t have a specific role to perform poolside, please don’t come down just to stand around chatting.


Any equipment that you are using in the pool should not need any special cleaning after use. The chlorine is sufficient to destroy the virus if it is present. If in doubt, submerging any equipment for a minimum of 30 seconds in the pool will make it safe.

In general:

  • Absolutely no sharing kit
  • Where possible please bring your own kit and minimise the need to use equipment from the cupboard
  • Instructors, please take your kit home with you and where possible please do not store it in the cupboard
  • The equipment officer will make sure that all borrowed kit is submerged in chlorinated pool water for a minimum of 30 seconds prior to use at the start of the session and before storage
  • The equipment officer will wipe all surfaces, pillar valves and handles with a disinfectant wipe prior to storage

In conclusion

This is new territory for us all and it’s going to take some getting used to. No doubt that the first few weeks will throw up some challenges, but we will adapt and make it work. And, of course, as guidance changes we’ll be adapting the way we work to keep in line with it. If you have any suggestions as to how we could improve the pool sessions then please do let Alastair know.



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