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Swim Update 5/7/2020

Dear Swim Families,

I know that many of you have been wondering (and some of you asking), “are we going to have a swim season this Summer?”  As of right now, the simple answer is that’s the hope!  Although nothing is definite at the moment, we do have some progress and information to share.  I apologize in advance for the length of the email, but I want to get as much information out as possible.
 
First off, as of April 30th, our league (NCSL) has not officially cancelled the season.  While several teams have opted to cancel their seasons altogether, the majority of teams in the league are hopeful for some kind of shortened or modified season.  However, I do believe it is overly optimistic for us to think that there will be “regular” dual Meets, let alone Champs, this Summer given the number of people and safety concerns around that.  Therefore, as a Board we have decided to refocus our efforts toward developing a “Summer Team” similar to what we run in the Fall.  It will still be broken down by Wave and Splash, but the focus will be on getting back in the water, re-establishing a commitment to training and improving for the long term, rather than a buildup to Champs as we would normally do.  If the league does announce details for a season, we will weigh those options at that time.  Concurrently, we will continue to evaluate any and all possibilities for providing some type of competitive Meet later in the Summer, perhaps “virtual”…?
 
Now I am sure the question is, “when will we this start?”, and I wish I knew the answer to that.  The good news is that early communications with the City are encouraging and we are cautiously optimistic that a return to operations is possible this Summer.  Additionally, the Placer County Board of Supervisors met today and are seeking to rescind the state of emergency and take back control locally for a reopening in our County.  “I would like to see the county move as fast as is prudent to create a readiness plan that meets the state’s criteria so that we can reopen our businesses quickly but in a manner that protects our community from COVID-19,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson.  As a business, we have a lot of things going for us compared to others that we believe help our cause to open up sooner rather than later.  Specifically:
  • Transmission is believed to be much lower outdoors than indoors
  • UV light and humidity are believed to significantly diminish the lifespan of the virus
  • Chlorine is believed to kill the virus
  • Healthy children are least vulnerable
  • Swimming is a non-contact sport
That being said, it is not as simple as unlocking the gates and getting going.  There must be a plan in place to reduce risk as much as possible, and to provide the safest environment we possibly can.  It will not be without risk though, so each family will need to make the decision of whether or not they want their swimmer(s) to participate.  So to me, the bigger question is not “when”, but “how” will we reopen.  USA Swimming has provided some very detailed plans on how to structure the pool deck and the lanes to improve social distancing between swimmers, and we are working to incorporate those into our plans.  We will likely utilize both Whitney and Rocklin High pools where possible, stagger start times, split up into smaller group sizes, etc.  We are addressing how to enter and exit the facilities, where spectators can be, safety measures for our coaches, and how to avoid loitering before and after practices to minimize contact.  We will need everyone’s help and patience to succeed on this plan.
 
Back to the timing for reopening, loosely speaking, let’s just say that we would like it to start with the month of June as the first part of that date.  There is a lot left to do and while we may focus on something as bullish as June 1st, the fact remains that we need to adhere to City, County and State guidelines.  So for now, we will be prepared, get sign off of our plan and approach, and then open up as soon as we are given the green light.  Without a season ending Champs, we are also looking at options for extending the season into August.  The hope is that we can structure an 8 to 10 week program similar to what we do in the Fall.  We must remain flexible though, as with everything in our life right now, it is a fluid situation.  As soon as we are granted reopening privileges, we do expect our Mavericks program to start as well.  Additionally, we continue to work on plans to hold our Summer aquatics lessons in some fashion as well. Try Outs and Lifeguard training will also be held just as soon as possible.  
 
Pricing for Wave and Splash will be determined based on how many weeks we operate.  We are evaluating what our operating costs will look like with the modifications discussed above, and are finalizing what our rates will be.  We aim to be as competitive as possible, and expect them to be in line with our Fall Team pricing which covers a similar timespan.  Lastly, for all cancellation requests, we will continue to honor full refunds up until the first day of operation.
 
We are confident we can provide a well thought out, detailed reopening plan to the City with safety at the core, we continue to leave no stone unturned to provide Aquatics to our community this Summer, and while we remain optimistic about kids swimming laps this Summer, we have to stay grounded and not become overly optimistic.  I hope this information is useful and answers some questions you may have, and as always, feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or concerns.
 
Brad Cooper
President, Rocklin Swim Team