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GKAISA Update: April 12, 2020

Head Coaches and Team Reps,

I hope that all of you are healthy and safe during these uncertain times. The GKAISA Board continues to meet regularly via Zoom as we get closer and closer to summer swim season. We will continue to follow the guidance of our medical experts, our federal, state and local governments, and the best interests of our swimmers, coaches and volunteers.

Our summer swim season is set to begin in approximately 6 weeks. We do not know what the future holds but will continue to monitor the situation. With that in mind, we are hopeful that all of our teams can begin practice and participation at the end of May. We will, however, continue to update you as we receive additional information.

We do want to make sure that you are aware of the following:

COMMUNICATIONS

We have updated our communications list. Please verify that all persons on your team who need to be on the team rep/ head coach distribution list have received this email. If someone did not receive it, please send an email with that person’s name, role on your team, and email information. (A cell phone would be great, too, as we can add it to our system.)

Likewise, if you received this email and do not wish to be on the distribution list, please let us know that, too.

Correspondence can be directed to GKAISA President Angelia Nystrom at anystrom@tennessee.edu. Please put GKAISA Communication in the Subject Line.


SEASON OPENING

We are hopeful that summer swim can begin on May 26, as originally planned. We will, however, follow recommendations from our medical experts and federal, state and local governments as to whether we start on that day or whether we will be delayed.

Additionally, we are reliant on our facilities for our teams to practice and compete. In that regard, please let me know if your facility has made any determinations about opening, about having a summer swim team, and about hosting meets. This will assist is as we determine our course of action regarding summer swim season.

Please forward this information to Angelia Nystrom at anystrom@tennessee.edu. Please put GKAISA Opening in the Subject Line.

If we are not able to start at the end of May as planned, we are hopeful that we can have a partial season this summer. We know the impact that summer swim has on our swimmers and on our communities, and we want to continue with the momentum that swimming has in our area. Again, our feeling is that “some swimming is better than no swimming.”

CITY MEET

We learned late last week that the University of Tennessee has cancelled all events on University property through the end of July, which means that we will not be able to hold City Meet at Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center as planned. We are looking at other options and will keep you posted as we have additional information.

Our decisions regarding date and format will be dependent on available facilities and advice of our medical experts. While City Meet may not look like our normal championship meet, our hope is to have a meet that embodies all that is great about our sport and our local swimming community.

 

SENIOR SWIMMERS

The GKAISA Board wants to be sure that we adequately recognize our senior swimmers. This year’s seniors have missed out on proms, year-end celebrations, and will likely have graduations that look nothing like the graduation that they were expecting. While some seniors may be able to petition to swim an extra year in the event we are unable to swim this summer, many will not, as we have a number of swimmers who are going on to compete in college athletics, who will be doing internships next year, or who will have other school/job commitments that will keep them from being able to compete. So many of them have been integral to your teams for many years, and we want to recognize their accomplishments.

In that regard, we are asking each team to send a list of their swimmers who are/ would be in their last year of GKAISA competition. If you have it, please include a photo and a bio of not more than 75 words about the swimmer’s accomplishments in and out of the pool. We will feature those on the GKAISA website this year.

Please send this information to Angelia Nystrom at anystrom@tennessee.edu. Please reference GKAISA Senior in the Subject Line.

Also, the GKAISA Board will present the Tom Schumann Service Award, the Bill Lauer Service Award and the James Rich Courage in the Face of Adversity awards this year -- whether or not we get to compete. We were blessed last year with lower costs and increased revenue at City Meet. We believe that it is important that we continue to honor our best and brightest, especially during these difficult times.

WEBSITE UPDATES

We are in the process of updating our website to include this year’s contact information, schedules, and trainings. We will keep you posted as information in added.

If you see something that is incorrect after the updates, please let us know by emailing Angelia Nystrom at anystrom@tennessee.edu. Please reference GKAISA Website in the Subject Line.

We are hopeful that this time of quarantine and social distancing will be successful in eliminating concerns about COVID-19 and that we will be able to start our season as planned.

Again, we will keep you updated.

We are all in this together, and we appreciate your willingness to be nimble in times like these.

Stay safe and healthy,

Angelia Nystrom

GKAISA President

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