December 21, 2020
Dear Illinois Swimming Club Leaders-
The last nine months have proven to be more challenging than any of us ever anticipated or imagined. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the swimming community, and we continue to be left with more questions than answers. However, our strength as an LSC lies in our ability to stick together, work together and look out for one another. If we continue to do this, we will come out of the pandemic in a better place.
Illinois Swimming continues to advocate on behalf of our community with local and state officials, directly and through our lobbying firm. Current Tier 3 resurgence mitigations have forced most of our clubs out of the water again or swimming one swimmer per lane in an open swim environment. It goes without saying that this is less than ideal for our members and clubs. Our efforts continue to focus on increasing the number of athletes allowed in a lane at a time with social distancing, and allowing organized team activities to take place in pools with proper protocols. This endeavor is extremely challenging given the fact that cases are rising, hospitals are continuing to fill, and the state is seeing more travel during the holiday season. We are one small piece in a much larger picture to the State of Illinois regulating agencies.
The ISI Board of Directors shares your frustration with our situation, and thanks you for your patience and creativity to date. We ask every coach, every member and every club to continue to remain patient, follow the mitigations laid out by the state, and, most importantly, stay safe and well. Illinois Swimming must cooperate and follow all mitigation requirements. We only strengthen our case as Illinois Swimming to get things up and running faster when we demonstrate our cooperation and compliance with all mitigation requirements across all clubs and members. Those who act independently jeopardize what little we have held onto. If the state is given reason to believe we are not uniformly following the guidelines, their response will be to shut down pools altogether. This includes lane space limits, group-level work and travel, among the other mitigations.
By nature, our sport is competitive and we look for ways to get a leg up on the team next door. In the current climate, competitiveness does not get us where we want to go. Rather, cooperation and cohesiveness will. This, more than any other, is the time to think and act like Team Illinois and support our swimming community as a whole. Many of our clubs have done a wonderful job working through the challenge of the shutdowns. We all must now work on persevering to the other side of it.
We teach our athletes about working through setbacks and adversity. The pandemic is dealing us a difficult situation that we all have to continue to face and work through together.
The Illinois Swimming Board of Directors