Spring is finally here!

Isn’t it wonderful to feel spring in the air? The days have just been amazing recently. This photo was taken last Sunday when I was out enjoying a picnic with friends, like many others. It was so lovely to see small groups gathering together enjoying the sun and each others’ company. That much needed social interaction basking in the glorious weather. What could be better! 

It definitely feels like we’re starting to move out of this lockdown, with the outdoor pools opening on Monday. While we are not back yet, I don’t think it will be too long. The excitement is building, with a definite buzz running through the swimming community. Further down in the newsletter you will find some notes on what to consider before heading to the pool. The key point is to check the website of your local pool to ensure you understand how they are reopening under the current restrictions. Each pool will have their own processes. 

Like many I have been trying new ways to keep in shape over the past few months. I have taken up cycling, running and virtual stretch and mobility classes. I can certainly feel the benefits of cross training and I’m really enjoying learning new physical skills. I’m super keen to keep these pursuits up even after lockdown. It is a way of obtaining a wholistic work out. What have you been doing? I’m hearing stories about online pilates classes, home gyms in the garage and loads of kilometres building on walking apps. I hope you’ve been keeping your physical and mental health in check. 

For those interested in the running component, I have been using the ‘5km’ app which is a repackaged version of the ‘Couch to 5km’ program. I do love the feeling of freedom I get from running and the sense of achievement I feel from cycling. There have been mishaps, too – I’m still nursing a shin injury from a topple on the bike a few weeks ago. But I keep getting on it. Cycling has opened my eyes to a whole new part of my local government area and introduced me to a new tribe. It’s been fabulous. 

However, swimming is still my number one love. I was so happy to be swimming at Dawn Fraser Baths when it reopened a few weeks ago. It is such a great, historic harbour pool located in Balmain. Prior to the pool reopening, some of us had started getting into the harbour at Birchgrove. Like many others who had been swimming in the harbour over the past few months, we felt there was no other option. So many swimmers have been swimming in the waterways around the city. Further down in the newsletter, you’ll find a link to my latest blog “Swimming in Sydney Harbour is Having a Renaissance. I’m in!”, which discusses this growing trend. 

I recently had the good fortune to catch – up with Claire Humphreys, one of our fabulous SwimFit members. In our chat, Claire shares her swimming journey and some of her tips with us. You’ll find the link below in the newsletter. 

We have our fingers crossed we will be back in the pools soon with our classes and private lessons! As we receive more information, we’ll keep you updated. Until then, keep safe and stay well. 

As always, yours in swimming, 

Kari Baynes

Photo: Ballast Point Park, Birchgrove. PC: Kari Baynes 

Pools Reopening

With new future lifts on restrictions being announced as NSW vaccination numbers increase, it’s an exciting thought that we can get back into the pool with our classes soon, hopefully well before Christmas!

As of Monday, September 27, Sydney’s outdoor pools will be opening to the public and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We’re still discussing with pool management how our classes and squads might return. Coming out of lockdown last year, the return to swimming started in a staggered manner, with lap swimmers first and then classes and squads later, and we suspect this time could be a similar procedure.

So in the meantime, there are a few things to keep in mind and be prepared for while thinking about getting back into swimming in order to keep yourself and others around you safe and healthy. 

COVID-19 Health and Safety
First and foremost, make sure that you are always following the current NSW Health guidelines for COVID-19, including mask use, social distancing and using the QR codes to always check in and out of premises. These rules can and do change so make sure you’re fully up-to-date before venturing out! Checking the NSW Government page here is a good place to start. As always, if you are feeling unwell or experiencing a sore throat, fever, shortness of breath or any other COVID-19 symptoms please get tested immediately and self isolate until you receive the test results. 

Travel Restrictions
Alongside COVID-19 safety practices, we also have to consider the location of our pools and whether we can safely travel to them without breaching current travel restrictions. Please ensure that you check restrictions, check your 5km radius bubble and make sure that you’re staying safe and following the rules!

Getting Back in the Water
The next step in getting ready is to get in touch with us! If you’re like most of us and haven’t been able to swim for a few months, it might be daunting to try and just get right back into it. If you have any doubts about which of our classes you should join or if you’re just feeling a bit nervous about getting back into the water, feel free to give us a call or send us an email and we can help figure out the best plan for you. If you’re keen like many to get back in the water before our classes resume, remember to let a lifeguard at the pool know you’re not a confident swimmer, so they can keep an eye on you. 

If you’re not certain your form will be in top condition after an extended break, don’t stress! We can book you in for one or two private Stroke Correction classes before you head back into your group classes to make sure you’re as confident as ever. 

Email us about getting back into swimming!

Interview with Claire Humphreys


Kari Baynes interviewing one of our awesome swimmers, Claire Humphreys.

Watch this excellent interview our Director Kari Baynes had with one of our swimmers, Claire Humphreys. The two chat about swimming (of course), motivation, and overcoming challenges! 

If you’d be up for having a similar conversation with Kari, please do let us know- we love to hear everyone’s stories. It’s got to be one of the best ways to stay in touch when we can’t be in classes. You can email us here if you’re interested. 

Strength and Mobility Classes

Want to stay fit and keep your strength and mobility pool-ready through lockdown? One of our very own swimmers, Liz Noad, is running these amazing classes through Zoom to help us all keep our bodies moving after days spent sitting at the desk. I have been doing three a week, and have found my stretch and mobility much improved. I just love the meditation session at the end too. 

Email Liz Now!

Swimming in Sydney Harbour is Having a Renaissance. I’m in!

Have you read Kari’s latest blog post? She chats about the personal challenges she’s been facing with swimming in lockdown, and how she’s taken up swimming in the harbour! Have you had a similar experience you’d like to share? Let us know!

You can get in touch by emailing Ellie, who looks after our social media and marketing at this address, or jump on to any of our social media platforms. We’d love to hear about how you’ve been managing another lockdown where swimming is not an option for most. 

(DSS Team, Social Media & Marketing)

Read Kari’s Blog

Mental Health Resources

If you’re struggling with anything mental health related, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. If you don’t have access to a person you feel comfortable talking to for help, here are a few resources that could be a good place to start. Keep looking after yourself!


Contact Lifeline for support if you are experiencing a personal crisis or have suicidal thoughts. You can call them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in Australia.
Phone: 131 114

Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service

Beyond Blue are providing information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phone: 1800 512 348

Happy SwimmingKari





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Different Strokes Swimming
PO Box 830
Newtown NSW 2042

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