August 20 Update

Hello Swimmers,

When the shutdown first hit in March I immediately started working on the premise that we would have no swims for a year. I am pleased to let you know that is not the case. Thanks to our public health professionals and efforts from all levels in our community, the pools have reopened. Just a couple days ago I received the pool contracts from the city, something that usually happens in May. With our pools confirmed, I'm now able to announce to you that Ottawa Swimming will be operating this fall though in a much more limited fashion. Why limited? It's because we are heading into a fall where our already uncertain world will become more full of questions and I don't want to overextend our organization. It's very hard for me to know that so many of our community, even those who want to, will not be able to take active part this season. It's just another of those million heart breaks, small and large, that we are experiencing.

Safety is number one and so we will start with only 5 of our 14 swim groups. If the autumn goes well then I will look at adding some of the other groups back in January. For the most part, the groups are at more modern pools with wider lanes. Sawmill is an older pool but I am confident we can make it work safely due to the unique layout. If at any time, any of the groups consistently function in a manner that I feel is not up to our new standards, I will not hesitate to pull the plug.

So the limited offering is the first big difference. Here is the rest of the information you need to know. 
  • Registration will open Monday, August 31 at noon when you will be emailed a link to this email address.
  • Payment this year will be monthly. Your registration will set up 9 monthly payments of $78+HST with the first coming out immediately. This places each swim cost at $18, up 40% from last year. This is due to a 50% drop in the allowed capacity. We have built in a discount to take into account last year's missed swims as other clubs we surveyed are charging $20 per swim.
  • Swims will start the first week of October.
  • If there is a shut down your monthly payments will be paused.
  • We have managed to obtain four full pool bookings which will help so our thanks to the management team at the City.
  • The Start Smart program will not be running. The nature of the coaching does not fit with pandemic restrictions. This is very hard for me to announce as empowering individuals with the ability to swim is my greatest love as a coach.
  • Only swimmers that can swim 200m continuously may register for our groups. Continuous flow in the lanes is very important in terms of distancing under the new lane rules. Again, this goes against everything I stand for as a coach (accessibility, community etc) but that all comes after safety. There is a chance this  200m requirement will change in January if all goes well.
  • Due to the unique strains on our community, you will not have an advanced opportunity to rebook your exact historic spot. Instead, members of last year's program will be able to register for ANY swim group once they receive the link on August 31 (so first-come, first-served). This allows me to reward loyalty but not to the same level as I usually do. I have no doubt many will meet with disappointment and for that I am sorry. 
  • I do not anticipate having available spots for new members.
  • The capacity is 6 per double lane. Read full details on how swims will function as listed in our August 10 update.
  • The schedule:
    • Sunday 8-9pm at Sawmill with Geordie (18 spots - full pool)
    • Tuesday 730-830pm at Plant with Erin (18 spots - full pool)
    • Wednesday 615-715am at Richcraft with Jennette (12 spots)
    • Thursday 730-830pm at Plant with Trina (18 spots - full pool)
    • Friday 1030-1130am at Richcraft with Geordie (24 spots - full pool)
If you are keen to get swimming this fall in our new set up, please mark your calendar - registration opens August 31 at noon.