Return to Sport – Swimming

Updated February 22, 2022

Important Notice: Special Olympics Ontario swim programs may resume activity if the swimming pool offers full use of the changerooms and washrooms. Changerooms must be cleaned frequently by facility staff.

Club Guidelines:

  • All swim program will follow facility specific COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Before and After Practice:

  1. Coaches are to create and share training plans ahead of training session.
  2. Physical Distancing (2m or 6ft) as per facility specific guidelines.
  3. Athletes will wear their face masks anytime they are not engaged in physical activity. Coaches/volunteers will wear face masks throughout the training session.

During Practice

  1. Maximum gathering size: Please follow facility specific COVID guidelines.
  2. While in the pool, physical distancing of two (2) metres (6 feet) in accordance with facility specific guidelines.
  3. Number of swimmers per lane: Please follow facility specific guidelines.
  4. All “non-essential” contacts should be avoided (handshakes, high 5’s, etc.).
  5. All skill instructions must be verbal. There will be no “hand over hand” skill instruction.
  6. If an athlete requires an assistant to train it is recommended that the assistant be someone from the same household. If the athlete unable to bring someone from their household, the assistant must be the same person each week. The assistant will wear a mask while working with the athlete, all assistants will go through the same daily screening check.
  7. Bring your own water bottles clearly labelled with your name – do not use public water fountains.
  8. Athletes may use only their own personal training equipment, or facility equipment that has been sanitized.
  9. Coaches should not share handheld equipment such as stopwatches, clipboards, white board markers, etc. Recommend coaches each have their own personal whiteboard kit to use as a visual aid for coaching.

Training Tips:

  • Re-imagine swimming. There may be less water time and more land work – be creative.
  • Be creative with the structure of your practice times, and the use of dryland training.
  • Train the same hours but this will be a mix of dryland and water.
  • Make it clear that there is no penalty for missing practice and that if an athlete, or any member of their family does not feel well, they should stay at home.

Click here to view Swim Ontario COVID-19 Guidelines


  1. Competition will follow Return to Competition protocols.

Each sport venue may have their own COVID-19 restrictions. Please follow the instructions of the staff.