HELENSBURGH’S young swimmers made a little bit of history when they got back in the pool this week – making the local club one of the first to resume training after lockdown limits were eased.

Helensburgh Amateur Swimming Club (HASC) was one of the first in Scotland to return to the water on Monday after the country’s swimming pools were given the green light to re-open.

Sessions at Helensburgh Swimming Pool look very different to the pre-pandemic norm, with social distancing measures in and out of the pool, double-width lanes, and all swimmers required to arrive ‘beach ready’ and to shower at home – but with HASC’s 130th anniversary year coming up in 2021, the delight at being able to get back in the water was clear for all to see.

Club president Alex McEwan said: “It has been a Herculean team effort to get us back in the water, but hearing all the positive feedback from our swimmers and their parents has made it all worthwhile.

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“It’s been a difficult time for young people with all the changes at school, separation from their friends and general uncertainty.

“Swimming affords young people healthy headspace, an opportunity to regain physical fitness and a chance to be part of their swimming community again.

“HASC are very fortunate – other clubs will have to wait a lot longer to return to training and, sadly, some face closure.

“Unlike land-based sports, swimming comes with a few more challenges when faced with the current situation, but we have worked extremely hard to ensure we have taken all measures put in place by SASA, our governing body, and worked closely with LiveArgyll, our pool operator, to ensure a smooth and safe return to water.

“We are looking forward to our swimmers getting back to the sport they love and benefitting from all the physical and mental benefits swimming affords.”

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One swimmer, asked on Monday night how it felt to get back in the pool again, said: “Amazing – I felt so free!”

Alex continued: “The important bit is that we are back and we continue to provide safe, quality swimming opportunities for local communities.

“Inevitably, some swimming fitness, and perhaps a little water confidence for our younger development squad swimmers, will be lost, but we are all focused on getting everyone back to the sport they love and supporting them to regain their confidence.

“All squads – gold, silver, bronze, development and fitness – will see a staggered return to the pool this week for reduced training sessions. It’s a solid start on which to build!”

Find out more information on the club at helensburghasc.co.uk.

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