Coronavirus and Your Swim Team
Swim teams are a central part of many neighborhoods, connecting a large cross section of families throughout the community. This puts swim teams in a unique position to offer encouragement and hope to families who may be stressed by the uncertainty and isolation of COVID-19.
Swim teams are used to rallying people together (the above photo is a great example), but obviously you can’t rally your people that way right now! During this difficult time we encourage you to use some of the resources provided by your SwimTopia website to mobilize and connect your communities.
Be a Conduit for Communication in Your Communities
Summer swim team has always been all about fun times with friends, community bonds, and traditions. Even during this time of “social distancing” and isolation, your team can come up with creative ways to maintain those bonds with “virtual” social time.
With your SwimTopia site, your team can remain connected even if they have to stay apart:
- Use the communication features to reach out to your families with messages of hope and encouragement.
- Reinforce messaging from health experts for best practices, while also providing support and ideas in these trying times. Remind people that they are connected and part of a shared community.
- Post links to your team’s social media sites, where families can connect. Use social media to update people with reliable COVID-19 updates and encouraging / funny memes to lighten the mood.
- Post links to a photo-sharing site where families can share photos and ideas of how they’re spending time while “social distancing.”
- Use the volunteering features of SwimTopia to let people sign up to help neighbors at high-risk due to age or medical condition, with grocery shopping, etc. Perhaps you know, from the “medical conditions” information you’ve collected in the past, which members of your team might need help, but might not want to ask for it. You could post links to other signup sites such as CaringBridge or MealTrain to help those families.
- Help organize virtual kids’ activities – organize group video chats for the kids to connect with each other. Call it a virtual “swim meet” where they sit around for hours on beach towels playing card games.
- Set up a system for sharing of puzzles and board games in your neighborhood (with a focus on those that are easy to disinfect 🙂 ).
- Start virtual book clubs (for kids and adults), use video conferencing to discuss the books.
- Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt to get the kids outside, but keeping their distance. Have your team members put a printout of the team logo or mascot in their windows and encourage your swimmers to walk the neighborhood, seeing how many they can find.
Other Suggestions and Resources
Support your sponsors. Encourage members to help local businesses. Many of the sponsors that have supported your team season after season are now in need of your support to keep their doors open.
Display your team spirit. Suggest that your families display yard signs for your team – this will reinforce the team bond and will encourage neighborly connections.
Be optimistic. If you are thinking about canceling your swim season, consider delaying the season instead. When this all passes (and it eventually will), everyone will want to let off some steam and connect with their friends more than ever.
Stay Active. SwimSwam is posting daily dryland training resources to help folks stay active at home.
Look for support. You’re not alone, youth sports organizations across the world are facing the same challenges you are. Find articles and resources on the ProjectPlay “Coronavirus and Youth Sports” website for ideas to help your athletes get through this time.
When it comes to coronavirus and your swim team, SwimTopia aims to be a resource for you and your families. Please join our online community through our Help Center to learn and share with other swim teams facing the same struggles.