VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The West Volusia Killer Whales Swim Team is looking for a pool to use for practice.
Kati Kaye coaches the team and said for the last four years, the swim club has partnered with Stetson University to use the Hollis Center Pool in exchange for giving swim lessons to community members.
The coronavirus has forced the university to close the pool for now.
"Last Friday is when I found out for certain that we weren't going to be able to get in and that's when we started scrambling and thinking what are some other options," said Kati Kaye. "Two months out of the pool is a very, very long time. That's where we are right now."
The nonprofit swim club has almost 80 swimmers, many who’ve spent hours training to compete in the now-canceled USA championship swim meets. Her coaches have been doing YouTube workouts for the team while they wait but they need the water. Kaye said the swimmers do have the opportunity to compete in a sanctioned dual meet in July that will be hosted within the community, and it’s an opportunity that she said the team does not want to miss.
“Having the pool is going to be really important to make sure those kids are competition ready because those times will still count. They never got their last meet where we were at the height of our training. So, it gives us the opportunity to get ready to get back in shape and get ready for that meet.”
Kaye, the head coach, turned to Facebook for help and said her coaches are certified to teach anywhere. She hopes her swimmers that she calls family, can make a splash by Monday.
“The best option is for us to find one location where we can go for a few hours a day and practice proper social distancing. We have the protocols in place and we’re ready to move forward to be able to coach under those guidelines. We just need a place to be able to do it,” she said.