VICTOR, N.Y. (WROC)— Many community and school swimming pools are closed due to COVID-19, and that is creating challenges for local sporting organizations that use these facilities. One club in Victor is using the closing of their pool to shift to something different by taking the swimmers out of the pool and into the finger lakes.

The Victor Swim Club provides not only a place for athletes to stay fit, but for young swimmers like Karen Senglaub’s twin daughters, it offers a community.

“Its really a family. The coaches are their mentors, their teammates are their best friends. You know, it’s where they’re the happiest and they’ve learned so much about teamwork, and perseverance and commitment,” said Karen Senglaub, a club board member.

The Victor Swim Club typically uses local school district and community pools, most of which shut down to the public in March, but that didn’t stop the athletics as coaches decided to take the training outdoors and utilize the finger lakes for swimming.

“We’re of course missing being in the pool but being in the lake has opened up a whole different sport for our athletics. Open water racing is a big thing. The Olympics added the 5k and the 10k races so our kids are getting some experience,” said Michael Murray, Victor Swim Club head coach and CEO.

According to the CDC website “There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas,”.

But even with a lake to swim in, the club is still missing out on competitions and group swim events that athletes depend on throughout the season. With the weather getting colder, the Victor Swim Club is hoping to get the pools open. For now they are happy to still offer athletes a way to get together and stay in shape.

“This time of COVID has created a lot of mental health challenges, and we’re really happy that we’re able to offer our programming and create some activities for our kids,” said Murray.

“You know it’s different, it was an adjustment for sure. But turned out they like lake swimming and they learned a lot of new things about lake swimming and it was just something different for them to be exposed to which was good,” said Senglaub.

The Victor Swim Club is planning a series of “Victor grand pre-meets” where competitions will be held during practice time to keep their athletes in shape and to keep the competitive spirit of the sport.