Squad back as pool reopens

Life in the swimming lane . . . Swim Dunedin head coach Lars Humer. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES

Swim Dunedin squads are back to training this week and although things are a little different, they are just happy to return to the pool.

Moana Pool opened for lane swimming, aqua jogging and gym use on Monday.

The number of users would be restricted and some areas of the facility would remain closed, the Dunedin City Council said in a statement.

The pool is open to the public from 6.30am until 6.30pm each day, and the swim squad uses the facility before and after.

Swim Dunedin head coach Lars Humer said squad swimmers were happy to adapt to the new rules.

Usually, they would share the pool with public swimmers, but were now “bookending” them.

Older squad swimmers train in the morning and have to be out of the building by 6.30am when the public would arrive.

Then, the younger swimmers have their sessions at 6.30pm after the public has left.

Humer said the morning sessions started about half an hour earlier and were shorter, but that was not a problem,

Shorter sessions were good for the first few weeks to give swimmers a chance to ease into training again.

Most had had seven to eight weeks out of the water, which was a longer break than usual.

“So we’ve just got to be careful that we’re building up slowly and not working too hard.”

There were no major competitions for at least a few months, so they had plenty of time, he said.

“We need to be in the water and we need to be in the water regularly in order to build up in the right way, but we’re not under pressure to perform in the next few weeks,” he said.

While at Moana Pool, the swimmers stick to usual Level 2 restrictions, such as signing in, washing their hands and keeping their distance from each other.

All swimmers have to wear their togs to the pool.

Humer said they had done “extremely well” and embraced the rules.

Swimmers stayed at least 1m away from each other when they were in and out of the pool.

“Our guideline is that we can have up to five swimmers in a lane, after two lanes we leave a free lane.

“We just leave a bigger gap and we’ve been able to do that no problem.”

Other changes included getting swimmers to turn their heads in the same direction when doing freestyle so they were not breathing on each other.

Moana Pool had been “extremely supportive” of getting swimming back as soon as possible and accommodating the Swim Dunedin programme, he said.

Club swimming has not yet returned.