Summer Swim Announcement 2020

    Dear Hammerheads, 

    The Announcement

    It is with a heavy heart that the upcoming 2020 season has been cancelled for Hammond Hills. This is not a decision that was taken lightly. The guidelines, rules, expectations & means to run a summer league team have been reviewed by our swim team leadership and the leadership of our sister pools in the Sandy Springs community. 

    The Decision Making Process

    After receiving many emails about what to expect in June, we attended a zoom meeting directed by Atlanta Swimming Association for every team in our league. The league walked us through the parameters & strict expectations for what would need to be done to ensure the legal safety and physical safety of our club, coaches, swimmers & pool community at large. After 13 years of being of your swim coach, I can confidently say there is absolutely no possible way to guarantee that we can meet all of the new guidelines 100% of the time. Under any other circumstances, there would be some flexibility to these rules. However, the consequence of a misstep would put the lives of every person in our summer program at risk, including not only swimmers & coaches but also parents, caretakers & extended family members. Our swim program's main purpose has been & will always be to provide your children with a summer they will never forget! A summer filled with the best memories of friendship, sportsmanship, team spirit and growth. If we were to meet all the new expectations 100% of the time, our program would be unrecognizable. Below, I've listed a handful of the rules required to legally run a swim team this summer. It will probably make you laugh or cry or maybe both! 

    2020 Rules & Regulations (limited list)

    • No parents, siblings or caretakers would be allowed on the deck. Furthermore, you would never experience watching your child swim in a race or complete a practice at any point during the season.
    • All children would be required to be dropped off at the front door of the pool & have their temperature taken by a coach. Parents & siblings would be required to return to their car during the practice and then "pick up" their swimmer from the front door once practice was over. Same process would be repeated for the next age group after all swimmers from the previous practice have exited the deck with their parents.
    • Swimmers would be required to sit 6 feet apart at all times while on the deck.
    • Swimmers must learn specific swim patterns for drills, practices, etc. to ensure the safety of those around them. Only 2 people would be allowed in each lane at one time (10 people in the pool total).
    • Swim Meets would be virtual. No volunteers, no parents attending. All times would be recorded during each different age group practices and then sent over to the other team for comparison.
    • It is projected that there will only be 50 people allowed on the deck through the end of July. All swim practices would take place in MORNINGS ONLY due to the pool needing to be open to members in the afternoon.
    • No items would be shared such as kickboards or blocks. Swimmers would required to put on their own goggles and caps (even if they fall off during practice)
    • Coaches would be required to coach from the deck & would not be allowed in the water with the swimmers to do any hands-on instruction. All feedback would be verbal as a 6 foot distance must be maintained at all times with exception of water safety emergencies.

    Hammond Hills, Mountaire, Riverside, & Mark Trail

    All this said, we want our program remain positive, encouraging and most of all, FUN for everyone. We recognize that the new rules & risks involved with running a summer swim season are not worth ruining 40+ years amazing summers between the fences. It is also not worth ruining what could be many more amazing summers for our swimmers, parents, coaches and pool family. We came to this decision with not only our pool but also with our sister pools in Sandy Springs (Mountaire, Riverside & Mark Trail). We all agree that a typical summer swim season in not the best interest of what we are trying to accomplish for the kids & community.

    As we mourn the loss of this this season (yes, the coaches are devastated), we cannot wait to be back in the pool with you in 2021. The league is granting a "red shirt season" to all seniors and will allow them to swim with us next summer!!!! Beyond grateful that we are not saying goodbye & will have the opportunity to celebrate their many years on our team.

    A Final 2021 Season for Laney & Mary Dodd

    Next season (2021) will most likely be my & Mary Dodd's last season as your head coach & parent rep. I would never say never to coming back way down the line but also feel the time is coming to pass the torch. 15 years of calling you all my coaching "home" seems like a good number to say goodbye..... but I also just bought a house down the street soooooooo I'm not going anywhere & will see everyone at the majority of practices for the rest of their swim team years. And for that next chapter, I could not be more grateful.

    If you or someone you know may interested in filling Mary Dodd's position in 2022 (the season after next), please reach out! We would love to train a parent (or parents) during the 2021 season so they feel prepared for a "training wheels off" 2022 season. 

    Additional Swim Options for this Summer
    Other Teams beyond Sandy Springs: If you are determined to have your child swim on a team this summer, some teams in the metro Atlanta area may still try to hold their season under the strict guidelines. Although, no one has officially confirmed. When/if a list of those teams comes out, their contact information will be available to you on the Atlanta Swimming Association website. 
    Swim Clinics: We are hoping to hold some swim clinics for very small groups in July (assuming the pool is open & it is safe for us to gather for instruction). Details on this opportunity will not be released until the last week of June! We plan to wait as long as possible before sending out sign ups to ensure the program is safe & feasible for all parties involved. 
    Private Lessons: This TBD! As pools open up, we encourage you to stay safe & vigilant as one on one instruction is offered at other pools. Our number one goal is to ensure the safety of your swimmers. And unfortunately, touching them & being in the water with them is not safe at this time. Therefore, parents with young swimmers who need hands on instruction will most likely not have the opportunity for private lessons at our pool this season. However, kids looking for specific technique improvement may be able to receive one one one instruction come July in a social distancing setting. 

    Refunds for Swim 
    Team Fees 
    If you used Venmo, the funds will be returned to you through your Venmo account. For any additional questions, contact Mary Dodd Walker at marydoddwalker@gmail.com

    Refunds for Swim Suits
    Our swim suit provider is SO sad for us and will offer refunds on bathing suits if you do not want them. She said to please contact her directly at Terry@swimshop1.com (Terry Gill) if you want to move forward with cancelling your order. She mentioned that she may not be able to refund everyone right away as her Disaster Loan has not funded yet. 

    Wrapping Up
    I know that was a lot of info & a lot to digest. I also want you to know how deeply empathetic we are for the conversations you will be having with your kids. I know it's going to be heartbreaking to many swimmers & we want to do anything we can to help. Please feel free to call at the number below if your child needs a pep talk, FaceTime chat or even just a smile from a coach in the near the future. Please pass along to your kids how the coaches are already planning the 2021 season to make it the BEST SUMMER YET. The best rainbows only come after rain!!!!!! 
    Love you all more than I could ever put into words! 
    Coach Laney 
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