Gator Parent Meeting Follow-up PLEASE REVIEW

Gator families,

It was wonderful to see so many of you on last night’s Zoom meeting. I’m sending this follow-up email so everybody has the information. The slides can be found here, and a summary of the main points below.

Season Overview

It is going to be a unique season, but we are thrilled to have a season at all! The JSSL board had to plan the season a few months ago and did not know at that time what summer COVID restrictions might be. They chose to plan on virtual meets, to schedule fewer meets than a normal season, and to end the season about a week earlier. This allows us more flexibility as a club to meet the needs of our members as COVID guidance changes; it’s also in deference to the families who are itching to get out of town. I’m impressed with how the JSSL board worked to design a workable season for us, and I’m eternally grateful to Erica Agiewich, our JSSL board representative.

  • We know that although we are a competitive league, our athletes participate because it’s FUN! We are excited to see our kids having fun, again, this season, and we will definitely need parent help from everybody!
  • Lastly, as you know, things can change in terms of COVID guidance and case rates, so contained here is our plan, but we need to be nimble, as alterations (hopefully for the better!) are likely.

Coaches

Head coach (and club manager) Kelley Tooke has assembled a fantastic group of coaches this year, all of whom are familiar faces around the club. They have either worked at Eichler for several years or they are former/current Gators! It’s wonderful to show our Gators such commitment to the program in our coaches. It also should be noted that Kelley does much more for our swim team than other head coaches in the league, and for that we are immensely grateful.

  • We are working on getting some in-water coaches to help with our youngest Gators
  • We would love to bring Junior Coaches back this year, and Kelley is working to see if it’s possible, given the COVID guidelines.

Meets

We will have three virtual meets this year. We will swim each meet at Eichler with only Eichler swimmers. The other team will swim at their pool, and the times will be combined virtually. We are the “visiting” team for all of our meets, but that does not mean much this year for most of us.

  • Saturday, June 12th (@ Saratoga Woods, who will swim their events on 7/10)
  • Saturday, June 26th (@ Laurelwood)
  • Saturday, July 10th (@ Greenmeadow)

Other meet info:

  • We will swim the normal events at these meets (more info later for newcomers), including relays, and swimmers will receive ribbons.
  • We will start the season by asking that a maximum of two adults per family attend the meet. As we monitor COVID guidelines, this may change.
  • All attendees will be required to wear a mask; swimmers will remove the mask only to swim their events.
  • Fewer workers than previously, to cut down on the number of people standing around the deck, but we need all families to work in order to staff each meet. (more below)
  • You will indicate your child’s availability for each meet via Swimtopia about a week before the meet.
  • There are no plans to have a snack bar at the meets because we cannot have people walking around the deck, eating.
  • Thank you to Tim Edmonds, Brian Dye, Jim Hines, and Jennifer Wang for working hard to figure out how to run these meets virtually and with fewer workers.

Social Events

We are thrilled that our athletes have returned to swimming with their age group this year, and foresee that being one of the biggest “social event” upgrades from last summer. We wanted to have a few other organized social events for the swimmers, but we vowed to keep it simple. Thank you to our Social Chairs Amanda Allen and Natalie Jackson for putting together a calendar of social events.

Here are our planned events, which are subject to change if COVID guidelines change.

  • Tuesday, 6/8 - Kids Dinner (elementary school, including those who just completed 5th grade)
  • Thursday, 6/10 - Teen Dinner (high school and middle school, including those who just completed 5th grade)
  • Saturday, 6/19 - Solstice swim
  • Thursday, 7/8 - Ice Cream after practice
  • Saturday, 7/10 - Pizza after the meet

RSVP for the social events in SwimTopia (they are already open!). In order to host these social events, we need parents to help organize and work at the events.

Meet Jobs and Social Event Jobs

We made the (maybe) risky decision to eliminate the minimum job requirement this year for parents. HOWEVER, the season cannot happen without you! Please plan on working at swim meets your child attends, and look to help with the social events. We would hate to have to cancel the limited events we have.

  • You sign up for jobs on SwimTopia.
  • Social jobs are up and available for parents to sign up.
  • Meet jobs will open when swimmer availability opens, about a week prior to the meet.

Swim Team Committee and Season-long Jobs

We have a number of committed parent volunteers who do work to organize the season and the team. Some of these parents have been doing their job for several years and are interested in having an apprentice this year who would be able to take over the job in the future. I will be sending more information out about these opportunities soon. Please consider getting involved. The jobs are well-distributed, and I do not think any of them feel onerous. You also get to work with a bunch of fun, committed Eichler parents, and you get to know the ins and outs of the swim team! More to come!

Gator Gear

Thank you to Jenni Bittinger for organizing our Gator Gear this year.  There is no official Gator suit this year, though we do ask that swimmers refrain from wearing a suit with any other swim or water polo club name or insignia.

  • A limited number of adult shirts are available for purchase. Email Jenni to inquire (jhbitting@gmail.com).
  • Caps are available. Talk to coach Kelley.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me (stcgators@eichlerclub.com) or Kelley (coachkelley@eichlerclub.com).

Looking forward to seeing you at the pool, and working with all of you to make this a season to remember!

Melinda Mattes

2021 Eichler Swim Team Committee Chair

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