Gulf Swimming has officially cancelled its traditional 2020 long course meet schedule with an eye towards alternative options that follow state guidelines amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The LSC came to this decision upon realizing that, with over 10,000 swimmers and roughly 65 clubs in the organization, hosting the meets they normally do simply wasn’t realistic in the current landscape.
“We host meets and there are 500, 600 kids in a meet, and there’s no way we would be able to do that,” Gulf Swimming General Chair Charlie Fry told SwimSwam in a phone interview.
Gulf leadership has created a task force to put together a schedule of meets that can be implemented as soon as teams are able to return to the pool.
“We have created a task force here in the Gulf to look at different option of meets of what we can do within the guidelines of the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and everything moving forward,” said Fry.
While they haven’t been public with it, the organization has been financially supporting its clubs since the pandemic hit.
“On March 25th we did the first round of support in the amount of $125,000, and then two weeks later we did a second round of support to our clubs in the amount of $125,000,” he said. “So in total so far we have done $250,000 back to the clubs in Gulf Swimming.”
This comes two days after we reported that Connecticut Swimming had cancelled its originally scheduled long course meet lineup.
Wesleyan University, one of the primary meet hosts for Connecticut, has cancelled all campus activity through September 1. For Gulf Swimming, many of the teams use school districts and universities to host meets, but Fry isn’t aware of any extended cancellations right now.
“We have a few clubs that own their own facilities, but most of them here in the Gulf use school districts or universities,” he said. “I think everybody’s kind of waiting for the guidelines that come out, and what each state says and does. So that’s what we’re waiting to hear.”
Gulf Swimming covers the southeast Texas area. As of April 24, the state had over 22,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, making it the 11th-most infected state in the U.S.
While figuring out a new schedule is on the LSC’s to-do list, safety is the primary concern in these uncertain times.
“Just trying to keep everybody safe, as far as the meet schedule,” says Fry. “We will have a meet schedule, but it’s just going to look different than what the normal schedule says. Now, if all of a sudden miraculously everything opens up and we can get things going sooner, we would go back to our original meet schedule. But we’re trying to plan ahead, we’re trying to plan for everyone that’s going on because I don’t think anybody is in a normal situation right now. We want to plan accordingly.
“We want to plan properly for the safety of all of our people in Gulf Swimming. 10,000 athletes, parents, officials, coaches, everything.”