USA Swimming California LSCs Pen Letter to Governor Requesting Pools Open


The fight to get back in the water has begun in many places around the world, but it has gotten stronger in California. Already with some clubs getting back in the water because local COVID-19 guidelines allow it, several USA Swimming California Local Swimming Community (LSC) directors have written a letter to the California Gov. Gavin Newsom, respectfully asking for pools to be declared safe to use for USA Swimming athletes.

The letter is signed by five LSC general chairs: Mark Brown of Sierra Nevada Swimming, Mike Carpenter of Central California Swimming, David Cottam of Pacific Swimming, Terry Stoddard of Southern California Swimming and Sally Taggart of San Diego Imperial Swimming. It was also sent to local USA coaches in California.

The letter states that more than 40,000 athletes, 440 small businesses and 3,400 employees in California are registered members of USA Swimming.

“We greatly appreciate your thoughtful leadership through this coronavirus pandemic,” the letter reads. “You have saved so many lives and are focused on making good business decisions using science and data. USA Swimming and the impacted athletes, business owners or teams, and employees truly believe that we can safely return to the pool now without jeopardizing the ‘new’ normal live(s) that all Californians want and deserve.”

The letter then discusses reasons that swimming is thought to be safe and includes a link to the USA Swimming reopening plan.

“We firmly believe that pools across the state can be used now for lap swimming and supervised groups of USA Swimming members in a safe manner,” the letter reads. “Operating in the current phase of the reopening of California’s business communities will further support your objective of supporting businesses that can meet the needed physical distancing requirements and safe operations.

“The Signators on this letter, representing the small business community and young athletes associated with competitive swimming, respectfully request that you allow pools to open for lap swimming and competitive swim practice during the current phase.”

Swimming Through a Pandemic

The postponements and cancellations wrought by COVID-19 haven’t just affected the Olympics and the ranks of elite swimmers. They’ve trickled down to neighborhood clubs and summer youth leagues, affecting thousands of recreational and competitive swimmers alike. Here is some of our coverage of COVID-19’s effect on the American summer swimming calendar.

Resources for returning to the pool in the COVID-19 era


  1. avatar
    Mary Skill

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!

    • avatar
      Paula Maas

      Thank you for your support of swimming, Dan!! You are amazing as always!!!

  2. Leslie Cichocki

    California please help with Illinois. Governor JB Pritzker it’s heart breaking to see other states open pools while Illinois isn’t taking action to compete with those states.

    • Heather York DiFulvio

      Leslie Cichocki There are many states who have outright cancelled swimming this summer. At least if it’s not cancelled, there’s still a chance….

    • Leslie Cichocki

      Heather York DiFulvio True. Being out of the water for almost 3 months has been hard for me. I want to make my second games to. I miss the water.

    • Heather York DiFulvio

      Leslie Cichocki Our committee coaches where I live have sent a letter to our powers that be, to try to get them to open up. It’s been hard on everybody, but it’s even harder to swim if you can’t breathe, so I want to be sure protections are in place. There are things to be considered beyond getting kids in the water. The pools answer to local government, not state. They have to consider the exposure of their employees (front desk, janitors, lifeguards). They have to consider who they open to – just clubs? What about lessons? What about public lap swimming? The club has to work out who swims when, since they can’t be jammed in 6-12 in a lane. Now, who absorbs the loss of revenue? Clubs still have to pay for lanes and coaches. Do the groups practicing pay more? Does the entire club pay dues, even if their swimmer isn’t getting pool time? There are a lot of moving parts that I think parents and swimmers eager to get in the water aren’t necessarily thinking about.

    • Tracie Lynn

      Angie Reese Mudd Thank you for sharing.. now let’s pray California’s governor will listen.. the pastor at my church has been trying to get thru to Newsome too, to allow churches to reopen with new guidelines. Pastor Matt Brown even made an outline of the precautions and requirements that will be in place if and when he lets us reopen! I pray this ends SOON! ??♥️

    • Angie Reese Mudd

      Tracie Lynn we are supposed to know a little bit more tonight, with final decisions on Monday. Prayers for all of us!

    • Tracie Lynn

      Angie Reese Mudd Prayers for the world ?? ? Please keep me posted on what your governor says! I’ll send Ashlynn out there if our governor doesn’t get it together and the pools back open! Lol ???‍♀️

  3. Allie Jon

    Let’s go NY get in the game

  4. Jen Hintz

    Governor JB Pritzker restore Illinois! Open the outdoor pools to lap swimming, competition swimming and exercise therapy. This form of exercise should be included in phase 3. Coaches,therapists, and athletes can follow guidelines for the safe return to training.

  5. They need to make the distinction between training facilities that can be controlled by coaches and staff, and recreational facilities that have no control over usage and enforcing distancing rules.

  6. avatar
    Kris McPeak

    Is there a petition we can sign and/or other ways for Gavin to know that there are hundreds of people behind this??