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by Scott Bay

May 20, 2020

A party can be a great way to celebrate your sport and get new swimmers to join

You’re one day closer to getting back in the pool, so now’s a great time to plan how you’re going to celebrate that. Although no one knows exactly when everyone will be returning to pools because it varies so much by location, you can think about how you can reconnect with your lanemates and maybe even draw in a few newbies.

You need to bring that in-person experience back and re-establish what you had before things got crazy because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’re a lane leader, a coach, or someone who shows up on a regular basis, you can be the point person.

Party Time!

Regardless of when you started swimming, you’ve probably had a day or two when you just didn’t feel like going to the pool, but you did anyway. Why? Because it felt normal, and even if you were reluctant at first, chances are you felt amazing afterward.

Being denied this experience right now is tough. When your pool opens, it’s a great idea to come together and recognize how much you and your lanemates missed it and share your experiences and, of course, food.

Here are a few ways to do it that can be adapted to fit your program after social distancing and stay-at-home orders have been lifted or at least eased.

  • Potluck: This is simple and easy. Find a place (hopefully the pool) and create an event! Everyone commits to bringing a dish to share, and the sign-up can be done on social media or open source websites such as Sign Up Genius. This is the easiest, because it just requires space and people and someone to take the lead. Great for workout groups, small clubs, or even a group of close lanemates who swim on their own.
  • Semi-sponsored: A lot of facilities have lost a lot of revenue due to social restrictions and stay-at-home orders. Talk to your facility operators about sponsoring a welcome back pool party. Chances are your die-hard swimmers will be back for sure, but others may have found a new fitness routine and need a reason to come back. If your facility can kick in a few bucks or use its strategic partnerships to get people back in the facility or come for the first time, it is a win-win. This just requires someone or maybe a small committee to take the lead. This is great for small clubs or workout groups or even large clubs. For most facilities, membership equals revenue, and investing in getting those members engaged again would be worth the investment. You can ask for a dollar amount to offset cost or maybe some sort of value-in-kind donations, such as swag or membership fees being waived for a period of time.
  • Sponsored: Chances are there are people in every swim group who are in a position to either sponsor an event financially or they work for a company that could help or know someone that can for such an event. Reach out to your lanemates and see who can chip in. This is great for medium to large teams because they have a broader base. The more money you can raise, the better things get. Doing some sort of custom apparel or a bag tag with partner logos to commemorate getting through this tough time is also a win-win. Although it seems counterintuitive that companies would spend money on marketing while experiencing losses, many eateries will probably love to have the promotion as they get back into full swing.

Why Now?

Planning a pool party for your Masters program might seem premature, but there are some really good reasons to start planning now.

First is that time is your friend. No need to throw something together for tomorrow. You can have a tremendous event planned over the days or weeks you have left before you can swim again.

Second, and perhaps most important, this party is a reminder that there is swimming in the future. Having something positive to focus on is great for the soul.

Next, you can have people recruit their nonswimming friends to be a part of a great fitness and sport community.

Lastly, it gives you a sense of control. Every day brings a new situation, it seems, and although we can’t control our circumstances, we can control how we respond.


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