In-person swim meets will not be happening this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning Quesnel Waverider athlete Seth Reddemann (middle) can’t swim his way to a gold medal like he did during a swim meet in February 2020. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel Waveriders jumping into fall swim season

Pandemic restrictions mean swim meets are out, and athletes need to be distanced during practice

The Quesnel Waveriders Swim Club is diving back into the pool after a stressful offseason.

The COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted most of the summer swim season is still being felt. The main change for the Waveriders is a lack of swim meets for the foreseeable future.

Waveriders board member Murina Rowsell said the club hopes to do some events, but things like virtual swim competitions are not in the cards soon. The first practices of the year will take place in early October.

“We are very hopeful that as the season gets underway, we may be able to sanction some time trial events within our own club or participate in some virtual meets, but we don’t know what that looks like yet,” she said.

Rowsell said the nature of swimming and swimmers will help keep them motivated throughout a season without important events to look forward to.

“[Swimmers] aren’t at swim meet every weekend, so big meets are often a long ways off, so they need to be intrinsically motivated,” she said. “Swimming is about the progression. Sure at a meet we are all looking at the clock to see how a swimmer has done, but there are many other ways to mark progression … Focusing on improvement and skill building can jump start a cycle of that self-motivation swimmers need.”

READ MORE: Quesnel Waveriders win 77 medals at home meet

A lack of competitions isn’t the only change swimmers will see this season.

Swimmers will be encouraged to show up ready to swim to minimize change room use. Entering the pool will no longer be a casual task.

“Once ready to enter the water, swimmers may be assigned a spot on the pool deck in order to wait for the beginning of a workout,” the club’s return-to-play plan reads. “Workouts will be given verbally, as well as written on a whiteboard easily seen from all parts of the swim lanes. Swimmers will enter the pool and proceed to their designated area to receive instruction. This will allow for social distancing to be maintained.”

Many of the rules the Waveriders will be following were put in place by the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre. Swimmers will also be asked to carefully monitor for any potential respiratory symptoms and not come if they have any symptoms.

READ MORE: Quesnel swimming pool reopens to public with COVID-19 safety measures in place

“We have ordered every member of our team a Waveriders mask for use on the pool deck, at school, etc. to give our team a bit of fun swag and make the most of the pandemic situation,” Rowsell said. “We’re looking forward to a different but still fun swim season.”

Online registration for the Waveriders is available online at teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=canwasc.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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