Swim Alberta joins forces with Lifesaving Society for next phase of We Are Ready

The campaign, which continues with the launch of one of three new videos, encourages an evidence-based approach to reopening pools, highlights mental health and wellness, and reinforces that facilities are ready to safely welcome back swimmers. In the recently published Swim Alberta led study “A Safe Return to Sport and the Right to Play during COVID-19 Article” in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showing zero transmission of COVID-19 at pools in Alberta from June to November of 2020 with proper safety measures in place and when swimming in the cohort swimming model.

“Our sport brings so many benefits to the overall health and well-being of the community. The evidence shows it is safe to return to pools with strong safety protocols in place that mitigate the risk of COVID-19. We are ready to welcome people back to swimming, our clubs are ready, and our partner facilities are ready,” said Swim Alberta Executive Director, Cheryl Humphrey.

Along with Swim Alberta, The Lifesaving Society is committed to making safety a priority for the public, aquatic users, such as swim clubs, and facility operators. The Lifesaving Society and Swim Alberta continue to proactively monitor the situation while working alongside government, partners and stakeholders.

“Aquatic facilities have worked hard to adjust their operations, processes, and policies to welcome the public back to their pools safely. The Lifesaving Society has worked closely with facilities across Alberta and Northwest Territories in preparation for this. As a controlled environment, facilities across Alberta and Northwest Territories are some of the safest locations to swim because of the supervision provided by National Lifeguards. We want to avoid the tragedies and increased number of media reported drownings we saw last summer with the closure of facilities”, states Kelly Carter, Chief Executive Officer of the Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories Branch.

The first of the three videos, which focuses on the evidence-based approaches and protocols that both organizations have in place for the safety of aquatics users can be viewed here: Everyone Wins When Everyone Swims. Two more videos will follow in the coming days on Youtube, that will welcome back users to the pool and focus on the mental health impacts and benefits.

Swim Alberta and the Lifesaving Society continue to work closely with Alberta Health and the Government of Alberta to meet or exceed required return to swimming protocols and providing facilities and member clubs with necessary information.

Any return to swimming must follow Swim Alberta's Return to Training Requirement Documents that outline how to safely return to training during COVID-19, including checklists, and other resources for clubs, as well as any additional facility protocols established through the leadership of the Lifesaving Society.

World Health Organization: Water or swimming does not transmit the COVID-19 virus