April 19, 2020
Hello Desert Thunder Families,
It’s time for another update on the team’s status as we approach the end of April. At present we are already further into the stay at home orders than any of us wanted to accept when they first started to come out. I have to thank our coaches for keeping contact with their swimmers online with various activities. I want to thank all the swimmers, and parents, who have joined the afternoon dry land workouts, stroke webinars, and the seniors who’ve joined the meetings for that contact. As much as it means for the kids to see us, it means just as much for us to see the kids.
The federal government has issued a gradual re-opening plan for states to follow across the country. While there can be disagreements on whether this is good news or a premature move, it seems the gradual return to business like normal is on its way. There is already debate on the merits of the plan, and I’m going to avoid wading into that. Desert Thunder will move forward in alignment with the parameters for return that are delivered to us by the local governments and public health experts.
Keep in mind, the team’s return to swim is dependent upon the re-opening of facilities. CHS has declared they are closed as long as schools are closed and will re-evaluate regarding summer usage for June and July. Cities of Chandler and Tempe are officially “until further notice”. Our hope is the data on the virus and the advice of public health experts will compel a restricted re-opening of facilities as long as it is socially responsible to do so.
A “restricted re-opening” of a pool most likely means fewer swimmers per lane, starting from opposite ends, and shorter practices with stringently controlled ingress and egress at the facility. When we return to swim there will most likely be guidelines that must be adhered to in order for the team to have the privilege of using a facility.
You may have read or heard that USA Swimming has cancelled all sanctioned competitions through May 31st. While this sounds like more bad news, I was half expecting to hear worse. The fact they are taking it a month at a time is actually slightly promising, considering the overall situation.
Many of you were very generous to continue paying your full or partial dues for April without the guarantee of returning to the water. The team is still in an “Opt In” status with dues. We know the effects of the extended economic shut-down is having greater effect across our families. For May, we again understand and, fully respect, if you need to suspend your accounts in light of the overall situation. Anything that can be paid toward dues will help keep our team solvent and together for the inevitable return to the water . I’ll keep running the M-F dryland workouts at 3 PM along with at least two stroke webinars per week. Coaches Andrew, Alec, and Riannon have been offering a routine for interaction and will work to keep those activities in place. If you need to make an adjustment on your dues for May please contact Scott at [email protected] .
I wish I could be giving you a return date right now, but I can’t. This could change within the next ten days, but that decision has to start with the Governor and work its way down through the counties, municipalities, and school districts.
To plan for our return, you will see a survey come out helping us explore time options for our return. When we get a go ahead to start swimming again, it is highly unlikely it will be under our regular practice schedules. We will have to work together with other clubs and need to get creative about running swimmers through a practice in smaller groups. Before completing the survey, please keep in mind we will not be able to accommodate preferences. The more flexible you can be on swimming times, the quicker we will be able to respond to the opening of facilities and getting the kiddos back in the pool.
Swimmingly (hopefully soon),
Coach Bryan on behalf of the Desert Thunder Coaching Staff