Swimming is off but we're keeping fit!
This article was supposed to be about the successful medal tally at Keynsham’s very own annual spring gala, co-hosted with Bristol Olympic Penguin Swimming Club.
It was supposed to be telling you about the re-launch of Keynsham Pool, with Siobhan-Marie O’Connor at the official reopening.
It was supposed to be about the wonderful new blocks that the people and businesses of Keynsham had sponsored. But this is what actually happened …
On Wednesday March 18, Keynsham Amateur Swimming Club’s committee held their regular monthly meeting. But it wasn’t the usual affair of members packed in around the dining table at whoever’s turn it was to host. This meeting was held online.
The committee, chaired by John Warren, had to make the inevitable decision about how the club should proceed following advice from the Government on social distancing due to Covid-19, and guidance from Swim England, which on Monday had advised against swimming activities.
It was with heavy hearts that, like many other sporting organisations, Keynsham decided to suspend training with immediate effect.
The club’s young swimmers have had their worlds turned upside down - no school, no exams, no end-of-year proms, no leavers’ services, no clubs, no play dates, no summer holidays away, and no swimming.
It’s not just the children that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the coaches have been volunteering with Keynsham for years, giving up hours of their time.
The parents also give up hours of their time driving the swimmers to training and spending whole weekends at galas or volunteering in the supportive roles that keep a community sports club running.
Katy Cripps, prelim squad, said: “Coach and swimmer have been doing a range of core strength exercises tonight. Ben says he is very sad about not seeing his swim friends as they are the best!
“I am missing the best team of coaches and the lovely children too. It’s such a pleasure watching them all learn and grow. A big part of our life is missing. Swimming family really sums it up. I am feeling a bit emotional, I do genuinely miss my lovely swim family already.”
But this was certainly not going to stop them training. The club’s land training coach, Mike Uren, will be uploading twice-weekly workouts that the children can do in their own homes, as it’s really important for the swimmers to keep up their strength for the time when they can safely return to the water.
Some of the swimmers have been sharing their photos with us.
Keynsham Amateur Swimming Club would like to wish all the people, and businesses, of Keynsham well and hope that everyone manages to stay safe in this truly unprecedented time