State of Idaho, Secretary of State Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Association Number: U4272

Message from the Board

Hello fellow SAWS Members,

We wanted to provide an update since our April communication. While everyone has been adjusting to a "stay at home" lifestyle since the Covid-19 craze, Sawtooth Masters (SAWS) Board members have been meeting via conference call every two weeks. We've been working diligently to find a way for our SAWS team to reunite in the water.

 Discussion has been focused  on the following topics:

YMCA Support: The Board has communicated with key members of the Y Leadership team  since receiving notification in mid-March of the Y's decision to discontinue coached practices. Shortly after receiving the Y’s email, a letter was sent to key Y Leadership requesting more explanation about its decision to terminate the masters program, and seeking to engage in discussions to find a solution

To date, the Y’s response has been evolving. Following is an email response from Scott Swanson, Associate Executive Branch Director, West Y:

We are happy to keep a strong partnership with Sawtooth in which we provide lane space on a recurring basis. What this partnership will look like and when it can begin is up in the air due to the unknowns surrounding COVID and social distancing guidelines. What is getting cut is the YMCA providing coaches and workouts.

SAWS Board members have also been communicating with the West Y Aquatics Director, Kate Montgomery, to share ideas on how our members could swim safely and get back into the water as soon as possible.  While there was some initial discussion and listening on how SAWS swimmers could swim safely, Kate emphasized that any lanes reserved for group swims whether coached or self coached, would require a lane fee; maximum $30 for short course and $60 for long course.  

In these uncertain times, it is clear that the Y is grappling with developing a new model, and SAWS will remain fully engaged in participating and finding a solution that best serves its’ members.

Alternative Considerations:  SAWS Board members have been reaching out to other pool facilities in the valley inquiring about the possibility of renting pool space. These efforts have generated some interest, but it is too early in the development phase to report any significant update. As many of you have already heard, the City of Boise has announced that City swimming pools will not open for the 2020 season and their usual summer pool programs, including lessons and swim teams, have been cancelled.

We remain hopeful and continue to research alternatives.  Facility owners are in the “wait and see” mode as the State opens up.  

Open Water Swimming:

A Google Group was set up last year to coordinate open water swims.  You can join this group by clicking HERE; invite others to your swims or learn about an open water swim and join them. Swimmers may send an email to the group to become a member: 

Quinn's Pond: For those of you who are interested in any of these casual, go-at-your-own-pace swims, a group meets regularly at Quinn's pond (Monday and Friday) for a 1-2 lap distance swim (1 lap around the buoys ~ 1,300 yards). Not sure what time.  Leaders of these groups are encouraged to post the days and times they swim in Google groups so others who are interested can join in the foray!

Remember, swimming with a buddy in open water is a safety issue and to continue to maintain safe distancing.  Idaho is doing reasonably well.  Let’s keep it going.

Following is an email from Coach Brigitta dated 5.4.2020:

Option 1: It is finally getting nice out and the water temperatures in the ponds and lakes are warming up, so I would recommend swimming in Quinn's pond or Lucky Peak ( may be too cold still).  I swam in Quinn's pond yesterday and the temperature was great.  It was about 63 which is perfect for a wetsuit.  If you have a wetsuit this is a great option for you.  It is a little cold at first, but after a minute or so it feels great.  It is not crowded there at all.  I will most likely be there Sunday afternoons around 2 or 3 if anyone wants to join.  I may try to swim Monday nights at 6pm as well.  

Option 2: SWIM CORDS! If you have a small backyard pool or know someone who does and will let you swim in it, swim cords are a great option.  You can purchase them on Amazon or  They are about $30 and worth it.  They attach to a pole or something stable on the outside of the pool.  A few swim workout options with cords include, 5-10 min warm-up then do 80 strokes mod, 20 strokes easy or for sprints you could do 20 strokes as fast as possible and then 80-100 easy.  There are many options here and I am more than happy to help you out with them. Let me know.  Cords are also great if you travel a lot for work; you can use them in a hotel swimming pool. 

Thank you Coach Brigitta!

We hope to reunite with each other back in the pool (or some body of water) soon.  If you have ideas to share, please contact us at

We wish you (and your families) good health and spirits!

SAWS Board

Jane Wright, Chair

Scott Carrell, Vice Chair

Tom & Sue Arnold, Co-Secretaries

Jim Byrne, Treasurer

Jill Wright, Open Water Board Representative

Paula Moores, Long Distance Board Representative

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