The Moose Jaw Kinsmen Flying Fins are in the water practicing together for the first time in about five months.

With the opening of the Kinsmen Sportsplex, the competitive swimmers are now back in the public pool for the first time since March.

“We usually don’t start until September, but we’re usually swimming till the end of July (or) beginning of August,” said head coach Gord Shields. “So I gave them a few weeks break. We were doing sessions by Zoom, so we were doing dryland, having team meetings, yoga, and things like that on Zoom, and then I gave them a few weeks break in July. So this is an early start for us, which is great because of that long break.”

Shields said this post-lockdown kind of training were a whole new kind of training experience.

“They have to physically distance, even in the water,” he said. “That’s very difficult to do. Usually they’re swimming circles, and stop at the end of the pool, then the coach talks to them and gives them feedback... So it’s a completely different environment. Some swimmers start in the shallow end, the other group starts in the deep end, and basically it’s two swimmers in one lane starting at each end.”

While the pandemic put a halt on some of the activities that were allowed to go ahead, Shields said this coming year is shaping up to be a busy one for the swimmers.

“For next season it’s going to be really exciting,” Shields said. “Some meets that were supposed to happen this year got postponed until next year. So in March, we have our provincial championships, April is Olympic trials, and then in summertime we have our ManSask Provincial Championships, Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals, Canada (Summer) Games, Saskatchewan Summer Games. It’s going to be a busy year so it’s really going to be really exciting for the swimmers.”

Shields is looking forward to the upcoming swim season.

“We’ve got a great group, I’m very excited,” he said. “Like I said, the Saskatchewan Summer Games. the Canada Games, nationals and the Olympic Trials, we’re going to have swimmers at every competition, and the majority of our competitive program will be involved in one of those competitions.”

Firm dates for the competitive schedule for the season have yet to be set, but he club is looking forward to hosting a mini camp next month.

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