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Swim teams OK’d to use county pools

Kihei Aquatic Center will be one of the Maui County pools that will be used by age-group swim clubs beginning this week. The Maui News / ROBERT COLLIAS photo

Maui County Managing Director Sandy Baz confirmed during Mayor Michael Victorino’s Monday press conference that age-group swim teams received approved permits on Friday, allowing them to be back in county pools this week.

“If you might remember, all the swim teams had to file new permit applications, get their paperwork up to date, most have,” Baz said. “We are still waiting for the last few documents for the masters swim teams. And then water polo, we’re still waiting on their application themselves, but everybody else is back in the water.”

All five Maui age-groups swim clubs — Hawaii Swim Club, Maui Swim Club, Island Aquatics, Maui Dolphins Swim Club and Lahaina Swim Club — received their permits to get back in to Maui County pools for the first time since they were shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

HSC head coach Reid Yamamoto is thankful for his three one-hour morning workout times and five two-hour workouts in the evenings per week, all at Sakamoto Pool in Wailuku.

The workouts are limited to 10 people, including a coach, so Yamamoto is rotating three groups of eight swimmers to get the most out of the precious pool time.

“I’m totally relieved,” Yamamoto said. “It feels like forever and I just want to thank everybody for their hard work into getting us to this point and, yes, we are going have practice (this) morning. This is the first official practice since March.”

HSC has as many as 100 age-groupers at any one time, so Yamamoto had to make the decision to keep his older teenage swimmers in the pools right now.

“I’m hoping as we progress, you know, hopefully in August we can have a little bit more and then every month we can add a few more bodies,” Yamamoto said. “That would be perfect. That’d be best, but right now we’re taking what we can.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

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