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May 1, 2020 - Message to Our Membership from the General Chair - 5/1/20

Message to Our Membership from the General Chair

Dear Pacific Swimming Community Members,

I would like to update you on developments since my last message to you on March 27th. Your Board of Directors and committees have been actively following COVID-19 developments and meeting via videoconference to discuss how the LSC can best meet the needs of our teams and swimmers. We have also been participating in USA-Swimming leadership calls and sharing ideas with LSCs throughout the United States.

It now appears that our teams will continue to be restricted from conducting swim practice through May 31st. The Pacific Age Group Committee has recommended that meets scheduled for June should be cancelled. This decision agrees with the recommendation of USA-Swimming that our first priority should be to get our athletes back into the water for the purpose of reconditioning, socialization and the “joy” of swimming without putting them under the stress of preparing for competition. For these reasons, it has also been decided that the Summer JO and the Far Westerns Long Course meets will be cancelled. USA-Swimming has cancelled their Summer Sectional and Futures meets to minimize athlete and coach travel requirements. If Public Health guidelines permit, USA-Swimming will attempt to schedule some “low key – non championship” regional meets. While we are all attempting to get back to normal as soon as possible, I fear that it will be many months before we will be allowed to offer a swim meet that can accommodate 500-1000 swimmers.

In the meantime, our member teams are continuing to suffer a severe loss of income. Some teams made the decision to shut down until they can resume practice. I would like to acknowledge and thank the teams which have encouraged their coaches to continue to interact with the athletes via videoconferencing. Pacific Swimming has reviewed both our budget and the results of the survey assessing the needs of our member teams. It has been decided that Pacific Swimming has the resources to dedicate approximately one million dollars ($1,000,000) to assist our year-round teams currently in good standing get through this difficult period. Money will be distributed in three (3) phases. The specific details of how the money will be distributed and the grant process will be posted to the Pacific website within the next few days.

I know that you have lots of questions and we are in the process of planning a Town Hall meeting using Zoom. We will be allowed up to 500 participants and will give instructions on how to access it on the website.  We will also try to record it so that if you are not able to get in, watch for a link to the recorded video on the website. If this proves to be popular, we will try to hold one or two more.

As we continue to hope to get this pandemic behind us our goals are:

  • to keep our membership safe
  • to get our athletes back in the water they love so much
  • to get to the other side of the pandemic with all of our teams functional and ready to serve the needs of our athletes.

In the meantime, please remain patient and continue to follow the guidelines of our local public health experts and keep your family safe. We are looking forward to seeing you and your family poolside as soon as conditions allow.

Best wishes,

David Cottam
General Chair, Pacific Swimming