Pool reopens after three month COVID-19 hiatus
SWIMMING: Learn-to-Swim co-ordinator Kelly Smith was no stranger to seasonal pool shutdowns before she began working at the Dalby Aquatic Centre.
However when a government mandate demanded all indoor and outdoor pools shut down in March, Smith and her team were left without a road map or any certainty about the future of their facility.
The Dalby Aquatic Centre opened back up on Monday nearly three months after a forced closure due to COVID-19.
Smith said all her and her team could do was wait and watch to see what would happen.
“I had been following it quite intently thinking that this was actually getting quite serious now, and I had a distinct feeling when they were grouping us in with gyms,” she said.
“They were classing us as an indoor sporting facility within the conditions.
“It was a bizarre feeling the fact that, because we had never experienced anything like this, there was no map.
“There was no future plan or landscape that we could go on.”
Learn-to-Swim classes had been cancelled by the end of March, and soon after the doors were shut completely.
With support from the swimmers and families at the pool, Smith was able to keep a positive mindset about what was a completely foreign situation to all.
“All families were very understanding because they could see what was coming too,” she said. “We just had to shut the centre, we didn’t have a choice.
“There was no use having a negative vibe about it because we just had to do it, and we understood that.”
Smith described the time like a “rolling wave” – closures and shutdowns accumulated over a number of weeks, and the situation became all the more serious with each passing week.
It was a relief for Smith to be able to finally unlock the doors, and see plenty of familiar faces at the pool again.
“It’s really exciting to see people getting back in the water for mobility and flexibility and just general wellbeing,” she said.
Moving forward, things can’t go back to what they were before.
The staff now follow a strict COVIDsafe plan that requires social distancing both in and out of the pool, and an intensive cleaning routine.
But the team at Dalby Aquatic Centre are just happy to have faces back at their pool.