AQUATICS clubs across West Fife have expressed their joy at making a splash once more as they take advantage of a return to the water.

Following an easing of Scottish Government coronavirus restrictions, the swimming pool at the Carnegie Leisure Centre re-opened on September 14.

The availability of the pool at Carnegie has allowed the likes of Carnegie Swimming Club, Dunfermline Water Polo Club, InCAS and Fife Synchronised Swimming Club to return to training for the first time in around six months.

Reflecting on their first week back, Susan Taylor, head coach of Carnegie, commented: "It is absolutely fantastic to be back in the pool.

"Everybody was so excited and keen to be back with Carnegie Swimming Club and their team-mates – the smiles on their faces before getting in the pool showed this.

"All apart from one squad were back and I loved seeing them all back. Watching them all, you wouldn't believe is has been six months since we have last been in the pool!

"FSLT (Fife Sports and Leisure Trust) have greatly helped our return to the pool, and the centres are very easy to get around and train in in the 'new normal'."

Alasdair Campbell, Dunfermline Water Polo Club captain, said: "As a club, we were worried about the numbers dropping once we restarted, but actually they've increased if anything, so it's great to see so many players of all ages happy to get back in the water again!

"The pool (Carnegie Leisure Centre) have been really helpful in clearly explaining the new safety procedures but also being very understanding for our unique requirements as a water polo club, allowing us to train as normally as we possibly can just now."

Michelle Williamson, secretary of Fife Synchronised Swimming Club, said: "Over lockdown, we were in constant contact with our swimmers and parents via WhatsApp and social media to keep them up to date with the developments. We also organised Zoom sessions to keep our swimmers connected and encouraged them to undertake some form of exercise at home to keep their fitness levels up.

"The return to the pool would not have been possible without a lot of hard work by all the aquatic clubs, Scottish Swimming and Fife Sports and Leisure Trust.

"Everyone has developed robust plans and advice to make the return as safe as it can be during the current circumstances.

"Fife Synchro really appreciated the way all the different clubs and organisations have worked together to make a safe return to the pool possible. A special mention goes to Carnegie Amateur Swim Club, who produced a brilliant walk-through video of the new one-way system at Carnegie Pool. We shared this as another aid for our returning swimmers, some of whom are as young as eight.

"The restart in Carnegie for our junior swimmers, along with the return of our masters section to Kirkcaldy pool, has been a huge boost to morale for the whole club. The feedback from swimmers and parents has been hugely positive, with one swimmer saying they 'hadn’t smiled so much in six months’!

"We sincerely hope that whatever the future brings, our swimmers can continue to keep fit and form lasting friendships while ‘doing daft things in water to music’."

Sarah Collins, a spokesperson for InCAS, added: "It's taken some effort and a lot of extra volunteers to act as COVID liaison officers but it's great to be back.

"We're only at Carnegie at the moment, as the school swimming pools at Inverkeithing and Lochgelly (high schools) aren't available, but we hope to get some time at Cowdenbeath soon."