Swim Academy Guidelines
Following leisure centre closures on 16 March 2020 as a result of Covid-19, you may already be aware that we started to reopen our indoor leisure facilities from Wednesday 15 July 2020 onwards, starting with our fitness suites and group exercise classes and then our swimming pools from 7 August 2020.
We want to thank all our customers for supporting us over the last few months, thank you to those who have returned so far and also to all of our staff who have been working hard to get your leisure centres ready to reopen safely.
We’re so excited to start welcoming pupils back to the Mid Ulster Swim Academy!
As your safety is of upmost importance to us, we have made a number of changes in line with Government, Public Health and National Governing Body guidance, along with enhanced hygiene measures, to ensure your visits are as safe as possible.
When do swim lessons re-start?
Swim Lessons in Cookstown Leisure Centre, Dungannon Leisure Centre and Greenvale Leisure Centre will re-start week commencing 5 October 2020 and are anticipated to be an 11-week term with the last lesson taking place during week commencing 14 December 2020.
If you were actively enrolled within the Swim Academy at 16 March 2020 when centres closed due to Covid-19, then you will receive personal correspondence from our staff by phone and/or email to confirm your re-start date and also payment arrangements.
For all customers who are owed swimming lessons due to Covid-19 shut down credits have been applied.
How do I pay for my lessons?
Once a member of staff contacts you to confirm your space, you can pay for the block of lessons over the phone or via debit/credit card upon your return to the facility. Our staff will be able to advise you on the exact amount as they will have details on your credits to be applied for any owed lessons as a result of the Covid-19 shutdown.
You can also spread the cost of lessons out on a monthly basis via our direct debit option – this is £20.40 per month and you can ask to be placed on this payment schedule by speaking with a member of staff.
If you cancel your direct debit you will lose the space in the programme and where you don’t turn up to a swim lesson you will not be entitled to a refund. If a lesson is cancelled by the Mid Ulster Swim Academy team, customers will have a reduced direct debit or credits applied to compensate and this will be done automatically.
I was actively enrolled in the Mid Ulster Swim Academy prior to the Covid-19 shutdown but I’m not ready to return to swim lessons in October 2020 - what happens?
If you were actively enrolled within the Mid Ulster Swim Academy at 16 March 2020 and if you are not ready to return to swim lessons in October 2020, please speak with a member of staff. We can defer your credits and space to the January 2021 term.
However, at this point if you are still unable to return to lessons in January 2021, we won’t unfortunately be able to hold your space or credits into further terms. At this point we will offer you the opportunity for a refund for any credits owed as a result of the Covid-19 shutdown.
I’m not currently enrolled within the Mid Ulster Swim Academy nor did I have a place at 16th March 2020 - can I join up?
At this time, we are not accepting any new enrolments as we are piloting the return of our swim lessons in line with government and industry Covid-19 guidelines therefore certain restrictions are in place. Creating Covid-secure swimming lessons is a complex and challenging task. We want to make sure that we get the process right before we bring more pupils into our swimming lesson programmes.
We do however, hope to re-open enrolments for our January 2021 term onwards and we will advertise via social media and our website on available spaces and enrolment mechanisms. We do not hold waiting lists therefore once advertised, places will be allocated on a first come first served basis depending on the spaces available.
Will I get the same swim lesson timeslot as before?
We will endeavour to facilitate as many of the previous arrangements as possible but there may be situations whereby the level and capacity of the programme has been reduced due to current restrictions. We will endeavour to ensure that all pupils unable to find a suitable class will have options available.
How have you made lessons COVID-19 Safe?
Whilst we are comfortable that chlorine treated water is one of the safest environments for our pupils, we have also ensured that our lessons follow Government and industry guidance and that the whole customer journey and environment is safe for our pupils, parents and teachers. The key changes we have made are:
- All lessons have staggered start times to reduce the number of people in areas of the centre
- We have made adjustments in the way we will deliver our lessons by following industry guidance in order to protect our staff and pupils from the risk of Covid-19 transmission so far as reasonably practicable
- All swimming lesson equipment is disinfected before, during and after all lessons
- All swimming lesson capacities have been designed to ensure that all pupils can take part in lessons safely
Will the same swimming teacher be taking the swim lesson each week?
We will endeavour to use the same teacher for each class; however, this cannot be guaranteed but there will be a qualified swimming teacher for every class.
Arriving at our Centres for lessons
Things may look and feel different, but it is all in the interest of your safety and having a great experience. Centre staff will greet you upon your entrance to the facility and be on hand to support during the first few weeks to explain the revised process.
- Please don’t enter if you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 – please isolate at home until it is safe to return
- We’re asking for just one parent/guardian per child to keep crowding in our pools to a minimum – please do not bring other adults/children with you if they are not part of the lesson.
- Make your swim lesson part of your #staycation and as you would on holiday, shower before you visit and arrive beach ready with your swimming costume already on underneath your clothes, all set to dive in from the poolside
- We ask that all children arrive to the centre with their swimwear underneath clothing such as a tracksuit or onesie (something easy to remove).
- Arrive as close to your start time as possible so we only have people at the pool when needed - this also helps with social distancing
- Where your child needs assistance with their goggles and/or swim hat, please can you ensure any support or adjustments are made prior to entering the water as unfortunately at this time our swim teachers will be unable to assist.
- In some cases, spectating may not be available, but an area elsewhere in the facility will be allocated for you to wait whilst your child’s lesson is taking place.
- Social distancing will be outlined with floor markings and signage so please observe one-way systems and follow directional signage
- Check-in at reception to confirm your attendance
- We have installed new hygiene screens at our reception desks
- Prepare to make on-site payments using contactless where possible
- We kindly ask you to go straight to the pool when you arrive, and get ready to enter the pool at poolside, where an area will be available to leave your belongings. Changing rooms will be available after your swim for you to use to towel dry before you depart - this limits the time spent in changing rooms, and helps you to social distance from others
- Stay hydrated by bringing your own ‘pre-filled’ water bottle on to poolside during your swim - water fountains will not be available at this time
- Make sure to bring an extra towel – our hairdryers are not available just at the moment, as they can move water vapour through the air
- You will not be allowed to move from one activity to another during the initial re-opening phase, so for example, you won’t be able to attend a swim lesson and then go for a swim directly after within the same visit
- Avoid going to or touching areas or equipment you do not need to
- Use hand sanitiser dispensers regularly and wash hands regularly where possible
In addition to swim lessons ongoing, there may be public swimming sessions also taking place and they will be available for 60 minute slots with 30 minute gaps in between to allow us to clean, replenish our customer cleaning/sanitiser stations and to get ready for the next timeslot.
During swim lesson times, there will be a maximum number of public swim spaces available per 60-minute slot and this is to ensure social distancing measures can be achieved, as well as giving you the comfort of knowing your space is guaranteed, and the reassurance that there will be a limited number of other customers using the facility as the same time as you.
What cleaning procedures will you have in place?
Pool areas are being cleaned prior to opening to the public and we have regular cleaning procedures in place which are appropriate to each facility.
We are working hard to follow government and industry Covid-19 guidelines and we have processes in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. We will be asking all customers that attend our facilities to follow our ‘wiping down’ policy, and reinforced messages will be on display throughout our facilities.
Until a vaccination or treatment for Covid-19 is found there are always risks when undertaking any activity. However, swimming pools are well managed spaces with numerous risk control measures in place and research shows us there is no increased risk for contracting Covid-19 from swimming in chlorinated pools.
Our water management systems have been reviewed with recent changes to government regulations to continue to meet a high standard of safety. All our pools are disinfected with chlorine in line with the highest industry standards.
Chlorine-based disinfectants are very effective against a wide range of viruses and bacteria. They work with bacteria cells by collapsing proteins, causing the bacteria to die.
Do I need to wear a mask in leisure facilities?
Current Executive guidance does not advise that face masks are worn within leisure facilities - if this advice changes, we will follow government guidelines and let you know what you’ll need to do.
- Have received extensive training in relation to managing Covid-19 in the workplace and enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols
- Will not be allowed to present for work if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19
- Will be practicing social distancing while working
Please be patient and kind to our staff, while they too are adjusting to these new measures.
Leaving our Centres
- Observe any one-way systems in place
- Follow directional signage to exit by designated routes
- Ensure you sanitise your hands at the sanitiser station provided
Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our customers and staff. We have developed the above guidance for use of our indoor leisure facilities to ensure everyone can feel comfortable when they visit.
We want all customers to enjoy their visit, have fun and feel safe. So, we insist for everyone’s protection that our social distancing and personal hygiene rules are followed by everyone.
We promise to keep you fully posted on any changes to the above, in line with further advice from the Government and Public Health Agency.