Angus club swimmers are back in the water after using a Dundee harbour aqua park as a stand-in training pool.
As indoor facilities remain drained and firmly out of bounds to clubs across the country, Arbroath St Thomas Swimming Club has started training sessions in the sea water of Foxlake Dundee.
More usually a venue for group outings including stag and hen parties who take the plunge for wakeboarding or to enjoy the inflatable obstacle course, the City Quay facility has been hailed a “godsend” for youngsters who are usually put through their paces in rigorous Arbroath sports centre sessions several times a week.
The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out the competitive calendar and already put paid to the 2021 Scottish Schools championships scheduled for January.
St Thomas head coach Lorna Whike said: “Swimming in a wet suit is completely different so they will still have to work hard to perfect their technique when they return to the pool but getting together at Foxlake has been a godsend as the swimmers were beginning to struggle with motivation after such a long time away from their sport, team mates and coaches.
“There has been a lot of fun and laughter in the first couple of sessions.”
Lorna added: “We are hoping that the First Minister will give the green light at the earliest date so that we can get together with our Angus Alive partners to plan the way forward.
“Meanwhile, we are putting our Covid-19 protection procedures together and into practise in preparedness for the return to the pool.”
ASC gala convener Jordan Young said: “Triathletes and open water swimmers have been out since lockdown restrictions eased, but we came up with this idea to try and get our club swimmers back in the water.
“The Foxlake area is a good size so it has given us a really good area to put the swimmers through training sets, and the other really positive thing is the number of volunteers we have had to oversee all of the health and safety aspects. It’s been a real team effort.
“We all want to get back to indoor training as soon as possible, but this has been a great success so far.”