Swim Club Restrictions due to Covid-19 for fall 2020


Email from Duquesne University:

Dear Students of Club Sports,

After consultation with University Administration including the Athletics Department, this email is to inform you that club sports are cancelled for the Fall 2020 semester. This includes all practices, conditioning sessions, and competition. This decision and its details are consistent with NCAA related decisions. We will review this decision for the spring.

I appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter.


Dan McCarthy
Director of Recreational Programs, Recreation and Intramurals

Coach Mark's reply via email:

Hi All,

Bad news from Mr. McCarthy from DU about the club team -- but -- I'm not going to give up fully, just yet. Keep reading.

First, we (DU club swimmers) need to keep (or get) active online. I have just the tool for that.

+ Reply: Mark -- set me up with the ISCA offer.

Second, does anyone want to take an open-water swim soon -- before the weather turns. Getting to Moraine State Park can be a gas. I'd be happy to hook up an event. They do that every Monday night -- but the days are fading.

++ Reply: Mark -- I'm up for an open water swim.

Third, does anyone want to help me convert other college swim club teams to the offer with ISCA as above? I need folks to reach out to make sure that they've seen the sweet deal.

+++ Reply: Mark, -- I'm interested in national outreach to other club swimmers about the ISCA deal.

Fourth, does anyone want to do an open water swim in Virginia on October 4, 2020? There is a 1-mile and a 5K swim. About a 5-hour drive on a Sunday.

++++ Reply: Mark, -- a road trip to swim in Virginia on Oct 4 seems cool.

Fifth, as soon as the county officials give the green light to Citiparks, they'll open the Oliver Bath House at the foot of the 10th Street Bridge on the South Side, next to the hotel. Very old, with lots of character. I'd love to make an offer to Citiparks Aquatics and hold weekly SKWIM games there -- perhaps 8:30 pm to 10 pm one night a week. We'd start by playing with / against the Citiparks lifeguards. It would flow into lifeguard fitness and lifeguard training,as they're going to be out of shape too, as we all are.

+++++ Reply: Mark, -- let's organize weekly SKWIM games on the South Side. Count me in.

Sixth, there is an INTERNATIONAL Virtual Swim / Run Championships. Details here: https://swimisca.org/events-old/swim_run/

I'm not certain where we would swim, but perhaps we can find a pool. But, you've got to be running now. That last day is Sept 30, 2020.

++++++ Reply, A run/swim virtual race is cool -- and I can use a new t-shirt too!

Seven, There are a few other places where I am going to try to get into for some swimming. There is a country club or two or three in the days to come. A couple want to stay open past Labor Day too. I'd want to leverage DU kids to go there to swim and play SKWIM. We have a new goal system that needs some testing in real game play -- and photos too.

+++++++ Reply: Mark -- let's raid a country club pool and play SKWIM. Keep me posted.

Last fall, I was not allowed to interact with the team in the fall of 2019 as clearances were not completed in the DU system. 

I tried to instigate a few times in the past months -- but seldom got more than a peek. Let's turn the tables on that.

Once the weather flips, we'll have to do other things, like white water rafting, cycling along the trails, setting up a zip line off the bluff into the river -- (joking).

+++++++ Reply: Mark, All of this sounds GREAT. (and NO but, .... )

Mark Rauterkus Mark@Rauterkus.com
Webmaster, International Swim Coaches Association, SwimISCA.org
Volunteer Coach, Duquesne University Club Swimming Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Coach Mark w mask

At the DU campus

I wanted to let you know that all your suggestions seem like great ideas.

One thing we do need to be careful of, however, is meeting on and off campus.

  • Student are prohibited from gathering in large groups both on and off campus, and if found acting in violation of the rules the university sent, would be required to move off campus and/or go to entirely remote learning for the remainder of the semester.

The university has clarified that there are exceptions to this if there are appropriate safety and social distancing measures in place.

  • Whatever we manage to plan, we must make sure that we are not penalized for doing so.

Also, I personally would love to do an open water swim! Hopefully, we can get at least a few things planned for this semester!

Hi Leadership, a reply from Coach Mark

Good point. Of course we need to not break, nor get close to breaking any DU rules. We can social distance at these events I propose. Furthermore, I am not going to get the virus either.

The biggest aim is the virtual access to the Global Library for ISCA. 

One for an open water swim noted!

Follow up, August 27.

My letter above has been edited drastically. All efforts to meet in any capacity are not to occur. 

If a student wants to train on his or her own, fine. But, that's it. 

We can noodle with email and digital efforts in the privacy of our own settings too, but no in-person gatherings.

Makes sense. 

That leaves us with less to do -- and only to do the online efforts. 


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