Swimming Update 6 April 2021
We are delighted to announce that all swimming clubs will be returning from 26th April.
The Learn to Swim programme will open 3rd May within Tryst, Wishaw, Sir Matt Busby and the Swimzone at Time Capsule and 17th May for John Smith Pool, Kilsyth Swimming pool and Shotts Swimming pool. Please note we are not taking new participants for the Learn to Swim programme at present, but we will update our channels when we have availability. All customers will be updated in the next 2 weeks by telephone and email.
Swimming pools at Tryst, Wishaw, Sir Matt Busby, John Smith pool, Kilsyth, Shotts and the Swimzone at Time Capsule will also open for community swimming on 26th April.
Health Suites will not open at this stage.
Swimming bookings can also be made by calling the venue you wish to attend directly. For John Smith Pool bookings please call Airdrie Sport Centre and for Kilsyth bookings please call Broadwood Leisure Centre.
Please note access to the Swimming Pools will be limited to pre-booked Swimming sessions only. So please ensure you book and pay before attending to avoid disappointment.
For any general enquires please call 01236 341969 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will be required to wear a face mask when entering our venues and you must keep your mask on until you reach your gym session or destination within the venue. In addition your mask must also be worn when leaving your session, when you are in any common or public areas and when you are leaving the venue.
The health and safety of our customers underlines everything we do. Our procedures are in place to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks from COVID-19 and as such, we are acting on advice from the Scottish Government and all UK Aquatics governing bodies to formulate detailed guidance based on the available information at this time.
Our Measures and Procedures will be under constant review, updated as advice from Government, Health Authorities and Governing Bodies evolves in line with the gradual lifting of social restrictions.
Culture & Leisure NL has adapted its procedures to ensure compliance with government restrictions and to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all our users and staff.
As such, access to the Swimming Pools will be limited to pre-booked Swimming sessions only.
Every Swimmer must be prepaid and booked either as a Culture & Leisure NL ‘AccessNL’ Member, a Member of one of North Lanarkshire Swimming clubs or other Aquatics Club, Learn to Swim members or have a pre-paid booked sessions.
To access our pools, all swimmers MUST:
- Book and pay before attending their session. To assist the NHS Test and Trace service, all visits must be recorded.
- Arrive ‘Beach Ready’ in their swimsuits already under clothes.
- Wear face masks out with the activity area in accordance with current Scottish Government Guidance.
- Maintain social distancing at all times.
- Not arrive too early to try and reduce the amount of people within the venue. Arrive 5 mins before session/lesson start time.
- Not congregate in the facility, changing areas or car parks. Swimmers will be encouraged to leave the facility soon after their swim.
- Not displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
- Please RESPECT our staff and all other users at all times.
These conditions are non-negotiable.
BOOKING YOUR SWIMMING SESSION:
To comply with government guidance, we have had to change some of our swimming sessions. Swimmers can now book;
- Lane swims (45 mins): Lanes will be at double width but have reduced numbers and there will be no overtaking to ensure sufficient space between swimmers. Lanes will be marked as fast, medium or slow. Swimmers who cannot swim a length will not be able to attend these sessions. Lanes will be double width with swimmers required to swim in a clockwise direction. Each Lane will be able to accommodate up to 8 Swimmers.
- Family ‘Bubble’ sessions (45mins): So you can safely enjoy the benefits of family swimming, the pool will be sectioned off into ‘Bubbles’. Pools will be split into sections (dependant on pool size and depths), with each family having their own private area. Families must be people from the same household bubble, max of 6 per ‘Bubble’. You will need to bring your own buoyancy aids, no armbands will be available to borrow. Families can bring their own swimming toys but they must be washed before entering the pool (no balls). Depth can be selected when booking (shallow or deep), if deep end is selected, all family members must be able to swim confidently and competently without aids. Children under the age of 8 years must be accompanied by an adult of 16 years and over at all times. Children under the age of 4 years must be accompanied by 1 adult to every child. Children aged 4-7 years must be accompanied by 1 adult to 2 children.
Normal pool rules apply.
- General Swim Sessions (45mins): The swimming pool will have no restrictions, allowing swimmers for access all areas of the pool, providing all current physical distance and guidelines are adhered to at all times. Ratios must be adhered to with a max of 2 under 8’s to 1 adult.
Normal pool rules apply.
Please note that these programmes may be subject to a phased introduction and are subject to change, with the potential to be added to as government and industry guidelines are updated.
Currently, we are unable to accommodate anyone who turns up for a Swim. All activities will have to be booked in advance. This is to ensure the safety of our leisure centre customers and staff.
- All swimmers must book and pay before attending their session. All users are encouraged to download the NL Leisure App and register for online booking.
- AccessNL Memberships can be purchased online using the NLL App or by visiting www.nlleisure.co.uk.
- Swimmers should travel to the pool alone, or with a member of the same household.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE:
- Enter via the Venues main entrance. Please note, exits may be different from the entrance. (swimming clubs may have alternative arrangements that will be communicated directly to the swimmers by the clubs).
- Arrive ‘Beach Ready’ having your swim attire on underneath your clothing when you come into the venue. Only bring essential personal items as there will be very limited or no access to changing and locker facilities.
- Arrive at the Swimming Pool venue no more than 5 minutes prior to session/lesson time, if you arrive before this time please stay in your car.
- Indoor and Outdoor two-metre queue markers may be in operation.
- On arrival, please sanitise your hands and use the swipe-in system on our entry gates if available. All members and Learn to Swim customers must bring their membership key fob at all times. Front of house staff will be on hand to provide any assistance if required.
- The protection, safety and well-being of our staff is paramount therefore social distancing protocols must be observed AT ALL TIMES.
- We ask all customers to RESPECT all our frontline staff at all times.
MAKING YOUR WAY TO THE POOL SIDE:
- Incoming Swimmers are encouraged NOT to use the limited changing facilities if possible as there will be a one-way system to ease congestion and to ensure social distancing can be maintained safely.
- As swimmers will be expected to arrive ‘beach ready’ with their swimming kit already on. A
changing space/ prep-zone will be available on arrival where you can remove any clothing over
your swimming kit. These changing or prep-zones will be pre-marked out areas on the pool side
to provide socially distant and safe preparation zones.
- Swimmers are encouraged to only bring essential personal items and must be held within one bag per person.
- Upon finishing your session, you can access a cubicle if required however all swimmers are expected to change as quickly as possible in the same prep-zone and leave via the designated exit (this may be different to entry).
DURING YOUR SWIM:
- Please follow the venues specific directional signage and entry and exit points.
- People of different standards and abilities will use the pool. Please respect their right to enjoy their swim.
- Do not make physical contact with other participants.
- Always attempt to maintain appropriate social distance between yourself and another swimmer.
- Whether stopping for a rest or catching your breath after completing your swim, please be mindful that others using the pool may want to keep on swimming without stopping; so keep yourself to the side allowing others to turn at the wall, turning head away and allowing others to maintain social distancing measures.
- Participants from the same household are not required to socially distance from each other but will be required to maintain a 2 metre distance from others. To support the delivery of family swim sessions in a safe way, adhering to social distancing guidelines, the pool will be configuring so that a household is able to book their own section or area of pool space.
- Please stay hydrated by bringing your own ‘pre-filled’ water bottle onto poolside during your swim.
To ensure everyone enjoys lane swimming, here are some guidelines to get the most out of your time in the pool:
- Choose your lane using the fast, medium and slow signs and by watching those already swimming. Swim in a lane appropriate to your swimming ability/speed.
- Please do not overtake whilst swimming. Before pushing off at each turn, check to see if anyone faster is approaching.
- If you change to a slower stroke as part of your session, think about moving lanes.
- Please follow the direction of the lane boards and swim in single file. This will help to prevent accidents and ensure participants can maintain a safe social distance.
- Allow faster swimmers to pass you at the end of each length. Move to the edge of the lane and turn your head away.
- If you are continually being passed please consider moving to a slower lane.
- If you need to take a rest, please exit the pool and use the designated area on poolside.
- If using equipment such as kick boards or pull buoys, consider moving to a slower lane temporarily so you do not hinder others swimming full strokes.
Lifeguards are here for everyone’s safety. If they ask you to adhere to the above guidance, your cooperation would be appreciated.
AFTER YOUR SWIM:
Upon finishing your session, you can access changing cubicles if required however all swimmers are expected to change as quickly as possible in the same prep-zone and leave via the designated exit (this may be different to entry).
We would ask you to help us maintain a safe environment for all customers by getting changed and exiting the building via the one-way exit in a timely manner after your session.
We appreciate participants or parents may be keen to catch up with fellow swimmers and parents, whilst we certainly would encourage you to do this, please be courteous to others and do so in a safe space outside the building.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I have seen that I must arrive ‘beach ready’, what does that mean?
‘Beach ready’ means having their swim attire underneath their clothing when they come into the venue. On arrival a swimmer will be directed to go straight to poolside to a ‘prep-zone’ or their
allocated swimming lesson waiting area and there they can remove clothing over their Swimming attire.
Please note there will be very limited access to any changing facilities for incoming swimmers as there will be a one-way system in place for lesson drop off and pick up to ensure social distancing can be maintained safely.
Can I just turn up for a swim?
Currently, we are unable to accommodate anyone who turns up for a Swim. All activities will have to be booked in advance online via the NL Leisure’s website or app (up to 7 days in advance). This is to ensure the safety of our leisure centre customers and staff.
Will Changing Cubicals be available?
To keep to social distancing guidelines and minimise touch points a very limited number of changing Cubicals may be available for swimmers to use before swimming if required. As swimmers will be expected to arrive ‘beach ready’ with their swimming kit already on, a changing space/ prep-zone will be available on arrival where you can remove any clothing over your swimming kit. These changing or prep-zone will be pre-marked out areas on the pool side to provide socially distant and safe preparation zones.
Will showers be available?
To keep to social distancing guidelines and minimise touch points a very limited number of showers will be available for swimmers to use before swimming. However swimmers are encouraged to shower at home before and after their swimming sessions. Depending on the facility, showers may not be available after your Swim.
Are there lockers available?
To keep to social distancing guidelines and minimise touch points, a very limited number of lockers can be available for swimmers that may need them. Swimmers will be required to leave their items at the designated prep-zones on the poolside. Swimmers are encouraged to only bring essential personal items and must be held within one bag per person.
My child is over 8 years old, can they come for a swim on their own?
Yes, although to ensure social distancing is maintained children will not be able to access lane swim sessions at this time but can attend our family ‘bubble’ swims or unrestricted swimming sessions.
Normal swimming rules will still apply.
Our pool programme is continually under review and will be subject to change and potentially be amended as government and industry guidelines are updated.
Why are swimming sessions 45 minutes long?
45 minutes allows our venue teams to have plenty of time to clean the poolside and the changing rooms between the sessions.
Why are there not as many swimming sessions as normal?
We have reduced our swimming sessions to ensure that staff and customers are kept in a safe environment, to comply with government guidance all changing areas must be thoroughly cleaned between sessions. The programme will change as government and industry guidelines are updated.
Why can’t I overtake in a lane swim?
Swimmers are asked not to overtake so that social distancing can be properly maintained in line with government and swimming industry guidelines. If you see that the swimmer behind you is faster than you then at the end of a lane you should face away from the poolside and allow the swimmer to go ahead of you.
Do I need to wear a face mask in the pool?
No. A face mask in the pool would be dangerous as it would limit your ability to breath. However, in accordance with the Scottish Government guidelines, face masks will be required in all circulation areas including changing areas, toilets and when entering and exiting the building.
Can I borrow armbands/toys?
Not at this time. To reduce the risk to swimmers we are asking you to bring your own equipment where it is needed.
Will my Aqua Aerobics class be on?
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to run aquarobics classes at this present time.
I am a carer/I come swimming with a carer, how do I book?
To ensure we comply with the correct track and trace system all carers are also required to book via NL Leisure’s website/app.
Why do different Swimming Pools have a different number of people in the same type of session?
The session capacities are set based on the number of factors, however it is mainly influenced by the number of people using the all other activities area of the venue, including Gyms, Fitness Classes and Dry Side Sports activities.
The safety of our staff and customers is a priority and we need to ensure there is sufficient space for customers to enter and exit the building and circulate safely, and also use changing and toilet facilities when required. Venues with smaller circulation routes and challenging entry and exit points will have fewer people.
Can I use the steps into the pool, I’m worried about touching them?
Yes, the pool steps will be available for swimmers who require them. Swimmers will be asked to enter the pool from the side using a slide in entry (sit and swivel entry) where possible. If there are no steps in your section then you can still use the steps and make your way across to your area.
Can I bring a water bottle?
Yes, you can bring a water bottle. Currently there are no water fountains available within our venues so please fill this at home.
Is the spectators’ area available to watch club, public and swimming lessons sessions?
The viewing areas for the pool will remain shut at all times to reduce touch points within the leisure centres and any risk of congestion and breaches of social distancing. If a child or adult has additional or medical needs then a viewing area can be provided for, please ask at reception.
Are there any Swimming strokes I can’t do?
No, however if we are close to our maximum bather loads, our lifeguards may ask swimmers to stop swimming Butterfly. This Stoke is a wide stroke and to ensure the safety of all our swimmers, if swimmers are doing butterfly then we would not be able to maintain social distancing. All lanes will be swimming in the same direction and the risk of people catching arms is increased with butterfly.
I normally only swim for 30mins, can I still swim?
We understand that not everyone will want to swim for 45minutes. Please arrive 5mins before the start of the session time to enter the building and leave after 30 minutes.
Will I be able to use the Health Suite?
No, unfortunately at this time the Scottish Government guidance does not permit the reopening of Saunas, Steam Rooms and health suites.
‘Learn to Swim’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can we use the changing rooms for my Child swimming lessons?
Swimmers will be expected to arrive ‘beach ready’ with their swimming kit already on. Parents are able to get their Child ready either within designated areas within the changing areas or on poolside.
One adult can collect their child from the changing rooms at the end of their lesson and the swimmers may use cubicles in the village change area to dry and get changed. There will be no access to showers after lessons at the current time. The parent may be asked to stay within a designated changing cubical.
We would ask you to help us maintain a safe environment for all customers by getting your child changed and exiting the building via the one-way exit in a timely manner after their lesson. We appreciate both swimmers and parents may be keen to catch up with fellow swimmers and parents, whilst we certainly would encourage you to do this, please be courteous to others and do so in a safe space outside the building.
The parent will be asked to take their Childs personal items with them.
Will I be able to spectate or watch my child’s swimming lesson?
Unfortunately, at this time we cannot safely accommodate spectators. One adult may accompany one child to the waiting area and stay with them until they are collected for their lesson by their teacher.
We are asking all parents to help us keep numbers of people waiting around the centre down by leaving the building whilst your child is in their swimming lesson returning in time to collect them at the end.
Please make sure we have an up to date contact number should we need it to contact you during the lesson.
What are the main changes due to COVID-19 that we can expect to see within swimming lessons?
- Teachers will now be delivering all lessons from the poolside.
- Lesson times have been altered to 25 minutes to allow time to safely clean down equipment and teaching stations between classes exiting and entering.
- To ensure the same contact time between teachers and children during lessons we may reduce the occupancy of most classes.
- We will no longer be able to provide armbands for lessons – If your child is in preschool or stage one swimming lessons, we are asking you to provide your own.
- Teachers will no longer be allowed to fit children’s goggles or help them put them back on, if your child is wearing goggles please ensure they are fitted correctly and they understand if they come off they have to stay off for the duration of the lesson unless they can get them back on themselves.
Will my child be able to swim on the same day and time and with the same teacher?
Where possible we have tried to keep teachers’ days and teaching times as close to the old programme as possible but there are some parts where it has been necessary to make changes. To accommodate our full programme and maintain social distancing, we may have to stagger some start and finish times. Unfortunately, to avoid any congestion and to maintain social distance regrettably a small number of our classes may have to be cancelled.
Most lessons will run in the same area of the pool as they did previously however there will be some changes to allow the programme to run safely. You will be notified of any significant changes to your class in a separate email.
Will there be fewer children in each class?
Yes, most lessons will see a slightly lower occupancy number, so we are able to run lessons safely and in line with government guidelines and governing body guidance.
- Parent and child will remain at a ratio of 8:1 (with adult in water with child) but will have a larger area of pool to accommodate safe spacing.
- Pre School will now operate at a ratio of 6:1
- Level 1,2 & 3 will operate at a ratio of 8:1
- Level 4 and club ready will operate at a ratio of 10:1
My child is nervous about coming back to lessons, is there anything I can do to help them?
We understand that some swimmers (and parents) may feel nervous returning to the pool after such a long break and with some necessary changes now in place coming back to lessons. Our teachers will do all they can to help ease the nerves when you return to the water.
In the meantime, here are a few things you could do at home in preparation:
- Speak to your child about what will be different when they come back so they know what to expect
- Read/look at the ‘rules for staying safe’ poster with them at home (this will be on poolside on their first lesson back) it could help if they see something they are already familiar with
- Remind them their teacher is there to help and support them and it’s new for everyone to get used to, they are not on their own (teachers can still support verbally and provide good instruction and reassurance from the side)
- Don’t worry if they feel like they can’t remember how to do everything, we will be re-capping lots of skills and working at their own pace
- Most importantly is that we just want them to try their best and enjoy being back in the water
What steps have you put in place to make sure swimmers can socially distance in their lessons?
The Venue teams and teachers have been training and working hard to plan safe lessons for when we re-open; taking on board government and governing body guidance, looking at the best ways to manage, adapt and organise different stages safely for our sites and keep the lessons developmental and enjoyable for all participants.
When can I expect my child’s assessment to be updated?
In the first few weeks, teachers will use ongoing assessment with swimmers and focus on aspects such as safety skills, re-capping core aquatic skills, confidence building, getting comfortable with new ways of swimming, travelling and spacing out in the water and on poolside, as well as enjoying being able to be back in the water of course!
Once swimmers have had a few weeks to settle back in, teachers will begin to update the online portal assessments. Please don’t be alarmed if there is a drop in percentage on your child’s initial reassessment. Swimmers will be returning with differing levels of stamina and skills to where they were previously at and it is important for teachers to have an accurate record of assessment for each swimmer so they can plan their lessons accordingly to cover the needs of each child in that group. Swimmers will be supported and encouraged at their own pace of learning by our teachers.
What if my child really struggles to return to the stage they were in?
Our main priority will be ensuring all of our swimmers have a positive and safe experience returning to lessons. We will work with all swimmers to progressively build them up at their pace. As teachers will not be going in the water to give manual support, swimmers may be asked to wear or use buoyancy and/or teaching equipment in some situations where they previously may not have. If a teacher deems any swimmer to be unsafe, or you as their parent/carer have any concerns we will organise making alternative safe arrangements for your child’s lesson.