Although not in the water, Penticton’s KISU swim club continues to train during the COVID-19 pandemic, just not in a pool.

Aquatic centres across Canada, and beyond, have closed their doors to combat the spread of COVID-19 leaving many athletes without access to a pool. Although they may be without water, that doesn’t mean that an athlete’s training stops.

Using online services, such as Zoom, KISU continues to support athlete development with dryland training and seminars hosted by key members of the aquatic community.

Both Swim Canada and Swim BC have posted workout routines, training and support resources, and hosted similar webinars with professionals.

This focus on physical and mental preparation will be key for a few of KISU’s swimmers who have their eyes set on the Olympic Trials come 2021.

“This situation is far from what we would like it to be, but we are embracing what it does offer in terms of improving ourselves, maintaining fitness, and becoming better in the ways that we can,” KISU head coach Tina Hoeben said.

Hoeben plans to continue connecting with her own athletes in this virtual space and looks to add others as well.

Recently the KISU Swim Club has contacted other swim clubs around the province offering to connect with and welcome them into these virtual sessions. Not only does this connection have the potential to benefit KISU’s swimmers, but ultimately benefit the larger swim community as well.

You can’t replace the water, it’s integral to the sport after all, performance coach Jason Selk said.

“Mental toughness is understanding that the only true obstacles in life are self-imposed. You always have the choice to stay down or rise above," he said.