Return and Continuing to Swimming Planning V6



A document to outline a base level of risk and potential liabilities for a return to swimming for the Bow Valley Riptides within the Town of Canmore’s Elevation Pool and other facilities. This document aims to target criteria that will need to be addressed for a successful return and continue to swimming to be possible whenever the Health Department of Alberta deems it safe enough to return/continue.

Within this document, there is an underlying assumption that the Bow Valley Riptides will be doing everything possible to comply with Alberta Health Services guidelines and even where not stated directly the club upholds the commitment to complying with all guidelines provided.

To be presented alongside this document will also be reference material from Swimming Canada’s return to swim plan as well as the Swim Alberta return to swim plan. These documents will be followed by the club, both documents are being presented as “working documents” with Swim Alberta’s document now being on V2, these maybe subject to further changes in the future. We will make sure any changes to our planning is corresponded with the TOC ahead of time and discussion is had on whether the changes will work for Elevation Place and the town staff.

Club Risks

Liability Insurance – The Riptides will ensure that insurance provided by Swim Alberta and their insurers is up to date and current in protecting the club and coaches for any liability arising from a return to the pool, both in terms of NOP and liabilities pre COVID -19 and potential new liabilities that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outside Activities – With a potential return featuring new locations or outside structured activities the club will need to ensure that they are following all guidelines that any new location may present regarding Health and safety and potential social distancing rules by the municipality.

Regarding the TOC Facebook post dated 02/06 the Riptides will try to book outdoor activity spaces to provide adequate space for dryland training. In accordance with this the Bow Valley Riptides will ensure that all appropriate space is booked for any outdoor dryland training the club will be doing. The current limit for outside activities is 100.


In Pool Training – The Riptides will ensure that all safety procedures and guidelines are gone over with athletes in a meeting prior to entry to the pool and centre for the first time.

We will ensure that guidelines for all coaches and members on deck are clearly followed beforehand for example athlete’s numbers per lane established ahead of time with lane allocations for all athletes to minimize deck space usage and potential contamination.  We are estimating a maximum group size of 12-16 athletes and 1 to 2 coaches, we are looking at ways in which we can keep the numbers down as much as possible, if we are advised on lower numbers we will adjust. We are currently advised that the Riptides will have access to the entire pool for 2 hour blocks, allowing for plenty of space for athletes.

Some potential ways in which we can comply with the social distancing requirements and precautions are as follows:

  • Entry and Exit – All members arriving at a designated location, or facility must ensure that they are following social distancing rules whilst outside and whilst entering the facility. As with the guidelines provided by swimming Canada, separate entrances and exits should be used,creating to paths to be followed clearly using social distancing is best. The Bow Valley Riptides will follow all entry and exits provided and communicated by the TOC. Swimmers should not be arriving at the facility outside of a specific time window before their sessions, recommended 10min prior.

If the town wishes the club to have a specific plan in place drawn up by the Riptides, Coach Tom will draw one up and liaise with Mandy Long on viability.

  • Lane numbers – The Riptides will be forming Cohorts for training. So lane numbers are not applicable, we are however working with the town to make sure that lane numbers are comfortable and workable for the TOC and its staff.
  • Equipment The only equipment we can envision using is the athletes own kit bags. Swim School swimmers are able to use our team equipment. The equipment that was used will be disinfected by a diluted chlorine spray provided by the TOC aquatics facility. Coaches will be required to clean all used equipment then place them in the 'clean' bin in our team area where they will sit for a minimum 24 hours before potential next use. Coaches will also lay out any necessary equiptment for the class and will be expected to put away. We will limit the amount of swimmers into the team area.
  • Town Equipment – If any TOC equipment is used the Riptides will follow protocols by the town on the cleaning and disinfecting of this equipment. This could include diving blocks and deck space I do not envision any equipment being used.
  • Equipment BagsAthletes are able to leave their kit bags in the facility in our team area. We are happy to hose down or mass disinfect any equipment before usage if needed. Will need to co-ordinate this with athletes who are taking equipment potentially to school.

Protocol for equipment bags is:

  • Athletes equipment should stay separated wherever possible during their session
  • Upon leaving athletes will take their kit bag to the team area OR home where they will may disinfect their own equipment before further use.

At no point will athletes share each others equipment within the session, any equipment that is not applicable or present will not be used.

Athletes will be provided with a structure on how to complete these steps or other guidelines prior to sessions starting.

  • Dryland –  At this time there will be no dryland performed on the deck.
  • Swimmers – All members and athletes will be informed of our protocols prior to practice and entering the facility. If there is a first aid situation we will follow TOC pool protocols. We are recommending that swimmers arrive at the pool with their suits on and if possible. This will limit amount of change room time.  We will also be recommending that they only use the shower on the pool deck by the family change room as per Swim Canada’s guidelines.
  • Coaches – If there are any changes to entry and exit from the pool as well as interactions for coaches as well as any PPE such as masks etc. that are being expected of coaches to wear.

Coaches will be washing their hands for a minimum of 30sec prior to entering the pool deck and afterwards.Any communication between coaches and swimmers where 2m cannot be maintained, coaches will be wearing a mask. We do not envision many scenarios where this will be applicable as coaches will maintain coaching positions on the side of the pool deck away from the swimmers, a marker will be made 2m from the pool edge both side, shallow and deep for coaches to be aware of.

  • Coaches Entry and Exit – The plan for coaches would be to have a coach access the pool, set up and check the area is ready to accommodate swimmers in an appropriate way.
    • Set up log books for screening and participant tracking
    • Communicate with staff for when it is safe and appropriate for swimmers to enter the pool area
    • Ensure that as swimmers enter they are following appropriate guidelines and social distancing as appropriate by TOC and Swim AB, within their own cohort of swimmers.
    • Ensure all swimmers are wearing their masks into the building, change room and onto the pool deck. They may take them off when coaches ask them to shower before entering the pool.
    • Ensure that the swimmers in the water do not come in contact with another cohort of swimmers if the sessions are back to back (15min gap) Coaches may hold swimmers in their lane if required to let another cohort group leave the pool deck.
    • Ensure that all swimmers leave the water and the pool in a timely manner through the appropriate exit designated by the TOC
    • Coaches to re-check area for possible disinfectant, check in with staff before leaving through the same exit.
  • Screening and Logging – Coaches have been provided by Swim Alberta and Alberta Health a checklist that is required for athletes to check off before entering, swimmers will have the passed the “screening checklist” we also will be completing a participant tracing document that will be updated daily for all athletes this will feature time in and out of the centre as well as whether they took the screening. If required athletes can be organized to have their temperature taken at the entrance to the pool our outside.
  • Parents and Volunteers – No parents or volunteers in the building athletes will be brought in and leave with coaches to be collected outside following social distancing rules. If there is younger swimmers that require assistance such as our Swim School Programing, parents are allowed to pick up in the change room or there is a waiting area in the lobby where parents may wait for pick up. Social distancing and wearing a mask will be expected by all parents.
  • Injury – Injuries will be taken care of by members of staff and lifeguards, all correct PPE will be provided. Coaches will have gloves and masks on their person in case any issues arises.
  • Assumption of Risk Form – The Riptides will be signing a return to swimming form with Swim Alberta stating that we agree to all of the terms they have laid out in their documentations.
    • All athletes and participants will also have to sign and have forms submitted before a return to swimming.


Cohort Swimming

Within the new Swim Alberta Guidelines, we are being recommended to swim in cohorts. The cohorts suggested are up to 50 people including coaches, these athletes will stay together as a training group and will not mix with other cohorts, coaches or personnel. These athletes do not have to physical distance per say on within their activity but should remain socially distanced outside of the pool. An example of this would be 12 swimmers and 1 coach once on deck 2 of these swimmers could be together but those 2 swimmers would have to social distance from 2 of their friends who are in basketball.

This is an example given by Swim Alberta:

Example A: Cohort of 24 swimmers:

Training Group 1 - 12 Swimmers – 1 Coach Lanes 1-3

Training Group 2 - 12 Swimmers – 1 Coach Lanes 4-6 

Example B: 2 Cohorts of 12 swimmers:

Training Group 1 - 12 Swimmers – 1 Coach Lanes 1-3

Training Group 2 - 12 Swimmers – 1 Coach Lanes 5-7

In these examples the coaches are remaining separated from each other and athletes in separate groups would not mix. 

There may be other factors that do not appear in this document, the Bow Valley Riptides, in this document is accepting that any current or future changes required by the TOC or Alberta Health Services to be implemented will be discussed and then followed to the best of our ability, and will be discussed with the Club President, Head Coach before then being documented and passed out to all athletes and parents ahead of time.


Thank you for your time,