Duns swimmers among the first back in the water

It has been a long six months with no swimming, chlorine-scented children or driving in and out of Duns for training.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 3:25 pm
COVID precautions were still being taken at the pool but the Duns swimmers enjoyed their return.

But there were some delighted faces recently when members of Duns Amateur Swimming Club were able to re-enter the water.

Jacqui Bennet, club secretary and COVID liaison officer for the first training session, commented on the “huge, beaming smiles everywhere”.

She loved being back at club sessions so much, she has even joined as a member herself.

Duns ASC was lucky enough to be one of the very first clubs in Scotland to get back in the water.

The members conveyed thanks to Kirsty Inkpen and Ros Gresham at BREST, the charity whch runs Duns Swimming Pool.

As soon as the Scottish Government gave the go-ahead, it was all systems go to get the risk assessments in place and the doors open again.

Pool manager Kirsty said: “A lot of hard work has gone into getting the pool ready to re-open again – many sleepless nights and long days – but it has been well worth the hard work to see how delighted people are to be back in the water and swimming again.”

Angus Santini is one of the club’s youngest swimmers, aged only nine, and said: “I love being back because swimming is my favourite way to exercise and it’s been great seeing all the coaches again.”

His mum did mention how much Angus and his sister Charlotte nag her to take them swimming, which after a lockdown of trying to think up alternative exercise is brilliant.

Charlotte said she was “very happy to see all her swimming buddies again”.

Club chairmanWanda Field and her assistants on the COVID liaison team worked closely with Scottish Swimming and head coach Neil Tait to ensure a safe return to training.

Wanda, a keen swimmer herself, said: “It took a lot of work and was actually quite nerve-wracking in the week before we got back in the water, trying to make sure we had all the policies in place and everyone was clear on what they were doing. But seeing the swimmers’ faces going into the pool made it all worth it.”

She added: “For some club swimmers, it is a serious and competitive sport.

“For some, it helps balance the stresses of school and, for some, it complements other sports and acts as a great way to prevent injury.

“But, for all, it has made a vital difference in their wellbeing to return to some kind of normality.”

Zico Field (14) said he was really pleased to be back in the water and hadn’t realised how much he missed it until swimming started again.

Younger sister Elise has set herself some new goals during lockdown to work super-hard at swimming to be the best she can.

Coaches can’t ask for much more than that – and Neil Tait said he was really impressed by the swimmers on their first night back, coping well with the session and showing lots of enthusiasm.

Everyone at the club said a massive ‘thank you’ to Duns Swimming Pool, and to their coaches, for getting them back in the water.