June 2020 Newsletter

FSC newsletter - June 2020


Message from Dimitri, Chairman


As per usual, I wanted to give you all an update on where we are with things.


Return to the Pool: At the moment, we are still not allowed to return to normal operation. Both Swim England and British Swimming are working on different plans. We are expecting more news towards the third week of June, so please watch this space.


Rest assured that we are already planning for our safe return in the pool and we are speaking to pool operators and the governing forums to discuss options. You may have read various articles about plans to return to the pool ‘beach ready’, i.e. swim and leave without the use of locker rooms, reduction of lanes, i.e. 3 lanes instead of 6 with max 30 swimmers in the pool, etc. All these options are being considered but no firm decision has been made. Other countries like Germany and Greece have already launched plans to return to the pool, so we are closely monitoring the results from them also.


Our best guess is that we may be able to return to the pool sometime in July (if we are allowed and it is safe to do so). In this case, our head coach and the coaching team is working on a plan to work with the swimmers in July through to September to get them back safely to fitness and prepare them for the new season.


In addition, we are working with the committee and our co-ordinators to plan a series of fun, social events to help swimmers and parents re-connect and of course, celebrate our return to the sport we all love! We will provide more information soon. Regarding competitions and events, please read the update from our Events Secretary below.


As mentioned, we should be able to provide you with another update towards the end of the month. Very Important: please read our reminders below, as to what you need to do to prepare your swimmers for a safe and injury free return to the pool.


Open Water (OW): per the Government’s and Swim England’s guidance, OW club sessions are still limited. Following the Government’s latest statements, you can swim at the lake individually, as this is your own decision. We are aware that many of our swimmers have done so. We have also received a lot of requests for our coaches to provide clearance for U14 swimmers to be able to swim at the nearby lakes (this is a mandatory requirement for U14s). In normal situations, this process would entail a trial and pool assessment, coach clearance, assignment of a ‘buddy’ at the lake (i.e. an older swimmer accompanying the younger swimmer) and onsite coach and lifeguard supervision. As you can imagine, since the above cannot be done at the moment, coaches cannot provide such clearance. We have heard that other clubs do it – please let me re-iterate that this should not be done, as no club at the moment is able to safely follow the procedures and guidelines that I mentioned. Our immediate priority remains in planning the safe return of the swimmers in a safely operated pool environment.


Important reminder of what is available to YOU now;


  1. Daily virtual workout sessions for all squads, led by two coaches (live)
  2. A YouTube video channel with frequent uploading of additional, online workouts for the swimmers (recorded)
  3. The incredibly popular Family fun virtual workout every Saturday morning!
  4. Head coach challenges: frequent challenges posted on our Facebook FSC Group page
  5. Weekly fun trivia, interesting facts, articles and videos on our Instagram and Facebook pages
  6. A series of Coach development sessions with the team, to further up-skill and broaden the team’s skillset
  7. Website updates on wellbeing, mental health and other helpful documents, tailored to the current COVID-19 situation


What we expect from YOU until we return safely to the pool;


  1. Participation: Please participate in the above and stay engaged with the coaches and the daily workout sessions. We have received terrific feedback from families, thanking us for helping in keeping the swimmers fit, but also re-introducing a standard daily routine in their schedule. However, we have seen that the participation has been a bit stale in the last couple of weeks. Please re-iterate to your swimmers the importance of attending these sessions, as it will help them be fit enough to swim when back in the pool


  1. Engagement: Send us any ideas / suggestions of other / more things we can do during this period. We are always open to ideas and where we can improve, we will invest to do so. If you have ideas/suggestions, please send them to Pip Barr at [email protected] 


  1. Commitment: the Club will continue to have substantial operating costs in June and until we return to normal operations, with the major one being our coaching wages. It is in everyone’s interest to ensure continuity of employment for our coaches, especially when they are working so hard behind the scenes to offer you the best value for the fees you continue to pay. I would therefore kindly ask once more, that you voluntarily keep supporting the club going forward, even by reducing your fees to an amount that is reasonable for your personal or family finances. In turn, we commit to keep offering sessions and other content daily, while working to further enhance this virtual training experience, until we return to normality.


On that note, I would like to thank you again all for the fantastic financial support you have provided so far. We know it’s a difficult and challenging situation for all families at the moment, so we appreciate it greatly, THANK YOU.


My personal apologies of the long read, but we felt that we should keep you well informed of the situation and present to you all the facts and thoughts we have so far. We will do our utmost to keep you informed of any further developments frequently, and you should expect another update soon. In the meantime, we hope that everyone in our FSC family stays alert and well and enjoys our virtual programme. Please look after yourselves, be responsible and follow all Government and PHE advice.


Thank you all for your continued support and understanding.  If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me or any member of the committee or by email. Our contact details can be found on the FSC website and via this link Committee members.


Dimitri Tsopanakos | FSC enquiries



Event update

I’m sure you’re all now aware that Swim England has issued a statement cancelling all national events scheduled to take place in the latter part of 2020.


Swim England has announced all its national events in 2020 have been cancelled. The decision has been taken to allow the recognised national governing body to start planning for its competitions in 2021.  It will also ensure athletes do not rush back to full fitness and potentially put themselves at the risk of injury when pools are eventually reopened.  Swim England had already called off events in all disciplines until the end of August because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”


Furthermore, there will be no Level 1 or 2 licences issued for the rest of 2020. Any Level 3 or 4 licences already issued remain provisional, and no new licences are being issued at the moment. Sadly, that means that our Club Champs will not be able to take place as planned. Once Club training begins again, we will have to await further guidance from Swim England as to when competition can resume. We will of course keep you informed of any developments.


Fiona Lee | Events Co-ordinator | [email protected]



Social Events


If you haven’t already, please send your swimmer’s birthday to [email protected] and we will update the list and send out reminders on facebook when someone is celebrating.



With more of us turning to online shopping now, please sign up to easyfundraising for the club. Its so easy if you download the Donation Reminder which will give you an alert whenever you visit a shop or site that donates. You can then activate the donation in one click! It’s completely FREE, so please get it now to make sure you never miss a donation for us! 

Visit: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/donation-reminder/


Social ideas

We are looking into some ideas for online fun – maybe a family quiz? Do you have any ideas? If so please send them to [email protected] and we will make some plans to get everyone together in the next few weeks.




Club onesies up to age 13 are still available via Cathie direct. Larger size onesies and all other kit is available via the fastlegs link on the website.



Committee members, enquiries and information

Coaches and committee member | contact details

FSC website | www.farnhamswimmingclub.org.uk

FSC enquiries | [email protected]

FSC policies | FSC policy website