August Newsletter – Update on 2020 Virtual OWS & Club Preps for 2020-2021

August 7, 2020


  1.  2020 Virtual Open Water Swimming Challenge – register today


Your swim bag will want this bling!!

We have made few changes to the Virtual OWS Challenge in response to comments and requests.

Two independent events & registrations

Shorter Distance OWS:   250m / 500m / 750m / 1 km   (wetsuit or no-wetsuit)

Longer Distance OWS:    1.5 km / 3 km / 5 km / 10km   (wetsuit or no-wetsuit)

You may do any and all swim distances within an event.

New Timelines: Register and swim by Labour Day Weekend

Awards: Swimmers registered by August 16th receive a bag “brag” tag. Thereafter, tags will be awarded as quantities last.

Swimmers completing 3 out of the 4 distances in either event will be recognized as an “OWS Otter” – Short Distance or “OWS Loonie” – Longer distances.

See full details on the event listing. Enter by signing into the MSO database at

Please swim within your abilities and with proper safety support!  Swimmers are encouraged to read the OWS Guidance.


  1. Preparing for 2020-2021 Season

The 2020-2021 START-UP process will be triggered during the week of August 17-22 with an email to Club Presidents.  Please make sure your club presidents are correctly identified in the database.


The 2020-2021 fees will be as follows:

Club Affiliation – unchanged

Annual Swimmer fees –

$6 – until October 31st / $10 – until December 31st / $12 – January 1st onwards
(Note: Manitoba swimmer fees not included.)

The fees reflect club challenges with COVID-19 and encourage early registration in spite of uncertainties.


Facilities continue to re-open slowly. A few clubs have provided summer programs and have gained experience with managing lower numbers and new protocols. Permitted numbers are cautiously creeping upwards.

Clubs must prepare Return to Swimming plans. Our Return to Swimming Guidance was sent to clubs in June and is posted on the website. Pool sessions will look different as we return. Restrictions on numbers will impact costs and clubs will need to be innovative in their approaches.


Clubs have heavy responsibilities in planning a safe return to operations within new restrictions and costs.

Swimmers have responsibilities too!  Continue to follow Public Health advice for distancing, washing hands, staying home when sick and wearing a mask.  Adapt and adhere to new club/pool processes. They are intended to keep you safe.  To keep our pools and clubs open, we must all stay the course.

Let your club know how you are doing, your concerns and your readiness to return.


Have a safe end of summer.