More opportunities!

Justin Davies


                I know there has been some confusion and frustration with the current status of the team.  I realize that the lack of communication between the team and parents has been frustrating and we will do better in the future with this.   COVID-19 has made the past few months very challenging for us at the Y as we all have had to do more with less.

                Every day, we are scouring all of the public health websites, Governor’s Safe Start plans, Zoom calls with different lobbying groups, and picking through every guideline looking for ways to expand the activities at the Y.  We lost sight of the fact, that many of you do not spend a vast majority of your day digging through these vague regulations like we do and may not know what is happening in regards to what we can and can’t do at the Y in the current state.


Here is a brief synopsis:

                We can only have 2 activities in the pool in our current stage/guidelines.  One is small group lessons (fitness classes or swim lessons) consisting of 5 students to 1 Instructor and the other is lap swim.  Lap swim is mandated to be one per lane and has to be on a reservation system.  There is no current exception for family members or for swim team.  I know there are teams in the area that have more than 1 swimmer per lane, but this is not keeping in line with the guidelines the state has published.   This was further clarified when I discussed this exact issue with the Skagit Public Health Dept, State Public Health Dept, and the state wide YMCA Alliance.


Where does that leave us?

                Right now, we cannot run a full swim team due to the 1 swimmer per lane requirement.  We have been able to offer small classes to some of our swimmers.  I think Coach Carol has done a great job of explaining on how these swimmers were chosen to be the first that came back.  Our intention is to get every swimmer back, but until things change in the state and county, we have to work within these restrictions.  There are some Y’s that have not brought any of the team back because they don’t want to have to choose who comes back and who does not.  We decided that some swimmers back is better than no swimmers back.  We knew that some families would be really happy and some would be really upset, but it was a decision that we had to make in order to get any swimmers back in the water.  


Upcoming changes:

                We have some significant changes coming to our YMCA schedule.  We have realized that we are in a unique position to be able to offer youth sports in a time when most your sports are on hold.  As many of you know, there isn’t much for kids to do after they log off from school.  As such, the Y will be changing its hours to better serve the youth in the community.  Starting October 5th, we will be open from 6AM to 3PM Monday through Friday for “normal” reservations.  From 3PM on, we will be dedicated to the youth and families in our community. 


How does this affect the team? 

We were able to secure practice time from 3PM to 6:45PM Monday through Friday and some time on Saturdays.  This will give us more opportunities to be able to get more swimmers back in and practicing, but sadly not all of them.  We will still be limited to one per lane so there is no way to get every swimmer back in the pool that wants to swim.  We will still be faced with hard choices on who we bring back.  The next group that is invited to come back will include the older swimmers that have a short time left in their swimming careers and need time to get in shape for the possible high school season.  From there, we will work to get younger swimmers back.

                But, we will begin to offer 5 week, 45 minute sessions for Chinooks only that will be run on Saturdays.  These sessions will be broken into specific age groups and will be open on a first come, first served basis.  We understand that this is a short time, but we will be focusing on developing technical skills over conditioning.  We are hammering out the final details on that now.  We will do our best to make sure that everyone that wants a chance to get some quality coaching on Saturdays will get a chance.


Thank you and we hope to see you back in the water as soon as we can


Coach Carol and Justin (Aquatic Director, YMCA)