Covid 19 update

March 20, 2020.

Following the Prime Ministers announcement today, we just wanted to let you know about your lessons.

We will be continuing to offer lessons at our facility in a modified low-contact manner. We have calculated the square metreage of our facility and the numbers of students/staff and are well below the threshold advised by the Government. Personal spacing guidelines remain the same at 1-1.5m where possible. We have sought independent clarification with the Covid-19 hot-line who advised that the personal spacing guidelines remain guidelines, and that in situations where it's not possible to maintain that spacing (i.e. for swimmer safety and instruction) that it is permitted to be closer.

We understand that everyone needs to take into account their own families needs when deciding whether to attend, and we, as a family are fully supportive of your need to do that. We want to support your decisions, and offer as much flexibility as we can in this time so that we can get through this together. Because of the contraction of the program we may also need to make minor changes to lesson times but we are trying to minimise this to you.

In order to support us all to stay healthy we also ask that you:

  • Limit parents/siblings/extras coming into the Centre as feasible. Let's keep the total numbers down as much as possible.
  • We are offering a door-to-door drop off and pick up option. Children can be dropped off at the door and picked up post lesson if you don't wish to enter the facility.
  • We ask that you minimise the need to use change-rooms, and come dressed and ready to swim, and leave and change at home later where possible.
  • We will continue to keep doors open, clean surfaces, deep clean and maintain water quality to the highest standard.
  • We continue to request that you stay home when ill and maintain hand and cough hygiene.
  • We continue to re-iterate to our staff to maintain minimal contact in lessons as is practical for safety and learning. Our baby swim teachers will be teaching 'side water' classes.
  • All staff members have undertaken the Department of Health's infection control training online.
    As a family, we are committed to continuing lessons in the right way, based on keeping kids swimming, active, healthy and engaged in sport. We also understand in this rapidly changing environment we have to make day to day decisions that impact everyone and we don't take this task lightly, we've lost a fair bit of sleep over the last few weeks trying to get it right.

In the meantime, we also wanted to express our deepest gratitude to all of you for your patronage, messages of love and support, and general awesomeness, we know many families are hurting right now and it's nice to feel the love of the community.

We hope to keep everyone active, swimming and as safe as possible for as long as possible.

Kind regards

Bill and Saskia

March 2020 Update

March 18, 2020.

We've spent some time today, listening carefully to the press conference with the Prime Minister and Chief Medical officer.

We've also got our parent hats, science hats and social responsibility hats on - so are carefully balancing all the information.

Following the advice of the Government, and understanding that there is a long-term, measured response in place to limit the spread of Covid-19 yet remain as normal as possible, we are continuing to swim, whilst also practicing staying clean and hygienic, and social distancing as practicable.

We do not have any more than 100 people in our facility at any one time.

As a community, it's important we support each other in this time, while making the best decisions we can, based on the advice of the professionals. We believe that swimming offers a low-risk activity, particularly due to the highly sanitised nature of our water, whilst taking some extra precautions out of the water. Maintaining safe activity, and normality for our children in particular, is important to us, if this response is to be long-term and sustainable.

We are:

  • Helping you avoid touching handles etc by keeping doors open, and thoroughly cleaning multiple times a day.
  • Sanitising our surfaces and equipment.
  • Avoiding physical contact in our lessons as much as is practical understanding that children need to stay safe in the aquatic environment too.
  • Communicating with our instructors about illness and social distancing constantly.
  • Asking our community to be sensible with their own illnesses and avoid swimming if unwell.
  • Cancelling sessions for the older, at-risk populations.

The current advice is to keep schools open, for a number of reasons, and we will continue to follow this directive.

We hope to see you at the pool, we are trying to stay positive and balance the needs of our entire community at this time.

Bill and Saskia Kirby

Trainee Teachers

Ugh, I have a ‘trainee teacher’ in my lesson…..

You may have been to our swim school, or others, where you have a ‘trainee teacher’ in your lesson. We like to identify our training teachers with a special bib, so you understand who they are, and why they are in our pool.

At Kirby Swim, we take teacher training very seriously. We don’t need to, but we want to.

Why?

Firstly, these trainee teachers have already completed a few things, they’ve passed the theoretical component of their training and done their face-to-face group training with a certified trainer, where they have practiced some of the techniques they have learned, so they are well on their way to understanding the basic structure and functions of a swimming lesson.

Secondly, they already have their Working With Children’s check (WCC) and CPR qualifications, so they are safe to be in our pool and facility.

Thirdly, these are mostly young people, looking to gain qualifications and working experience for their future, and this is often their first job. For us, as parents of teens now, it’s important to nurture, and encourage young citizens to work, and gain experience in a workplace like ours, where we can support and encourage their skill growth and personal development.

What are the benefits for you?

Your child will have the best of both worlds! An experienced teacher they are comfortable with in their lesson, as well as a new, fresh and energetic teacher to be an ‘extra set of hands’ in a lesson. This is exceptionally useful in our Sea Horse and Sea Horse Advanced levels where we often have timid or uncertain swimmers who need a little extra care and attention to thrive.

We have a very structured teacher training plan, where students gradually take more and more practical ownership of a lesson as they become more experienced, so we never let them ‘take over’ a lesson until they are ready. They need a minimum of 20 hours practical, in-water training to be signed off as ready to teach.

We believe in the process of nurturing and developing new teachers, as well as our swimmers, side-by-side, so next time you see one of our teachers in training, give them a friendly smile and help them feel welcome in our class and centre – they are the amazing teachers of the future!

Happy Swimming – Bill and Saskia Kirby

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