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Swim Wales Post Firebreak Statement

Nofio, Plymio, Nofio Artistig, Polo Dŵr, Addysg
National, Performance

To all member clubs, affiliated organisations, partners and participants,

I hope this letter finds you and your families well as we come out of the current national firebreak. As many of you would expect, Swim Wales (the National Governing Body) have been in regular discussion with Welsh Government and Sport Wales about the newly formed regulations which were announced on Monday (2nd November 2020).

We have specifically focussed on the regressive change to ‘15 in indoor spaces’ and what that will mean for our 200+ associated organisations, 38 operator partners and 11 user groups. After several meetings, and the official Welsh Government FAQ’s we can confirm that the following changes will take effect from Monday 9th November.

1.     Aquatic Clubs, Groups & Lessons

‘Organised activity in simultaneous groups of up to 15 people can exercise indoors as long as the capacity is aligned to the UK Active Guidance and the groups can be separated throughout the customer’s journey’

2.     Exempt User Groups (Allowances)

‘Children aged under 11 are exempt from this rule but are still encouraged to maintain social distancing at all times wherever possible’

‘Any individuals organising and supervising the activity such as Coaches, Teachers, Volunteers and Facility Staff, are exempt from the numbers allowed to participate in organised activity’

3.     Public & Community Sessions

‘Bookable individual activity (e.g. community/public swim) will continue to follow the UK Active Guidance to determine the capacity on both wet and dry side activities.

4.     Open Water and Land Training

‘Organised activity in groups of up to 30 people can exercise outdoors’

I would like to reassure everyone with an interest in aquatic activity and sport in Wales that we are doing everything to address the challenges that these restrictions present. Yesterday my team and I took part in an online meeting with Welsh Government, Sport Wales, Operators and NGB’s to discuss the impact of these changes. At this meeting I presented our ‘case not to change’. Over 150,000 people have returned to some form of aquatic activity over the last 14 weeks with less than 10 reported COVID cases, 0.01%. This is testament to the army of organised community groups, well run member clubs and the highly professional operating environments in which they operate. In addition to this, we will be working with the WSA to have activity and sport classed as ESSENTIAL SERVICES so that we are exempt from future lockdowns and further restrictions. We are part of the solution, not the problem!

For now, we must accept that the policy makers in Government have made these decisions with the national interest at heart and I look forward to matching our data with theirs in the coming weeks.

We will be repurposing upcoming engagement sessions from next week with our clubs, swim schools and facility partners to address the impact on aquatic programmes, share best practice/innovation and actively find solutions.

Finally, thank you for all of the messages of support and the patience you have shown to date. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or our team who are always there to support you.

Fergus Feeney,

Chief Executive Officer

Swim Wales

5 November 2020 

UK Active Guidance

This framework is aligned to the various Government documents, and has been updated as a 'how to' guide - providing specific and practical steps to support facilities in meeting the Government requirements as a bare minimum and must be used in conjunction with the specific devolved Government Guidance.

Maximum capacity based on 100sqft per person on land or 3sqm per bather in a pool as set out in UK Active Guidance

Welsh Government National Restrictions

These FAQs were published today (5th November 2020). Further guidance relating to these new regulations is being produced by Welsh Government over the coming days and Swim Wales will keep our community fully informed as this is developed.