Swim Wales Events and Competition Update 25th June 2021
- Swimming, Diving, Artistic Swimming , Water Polo, Education
- National, Performance
To all of Swim Wales affiliated member clubs, coaches, parents and swimmers,
As we approach our 8th week of pool re opening and a very healthy return to aquatic activity and swimming across Wales, we wanted to update you on the work that the National Governing Body is doing to bring back Events and Competitions in Wales.
During the second lockdown period (Jan – May) the Swim Wales Events Team completed an extensive consultation process regarding the existing Swim Wales National Events and Competition pathway (2019). This consultation involved our sports working groups, our volunteer communities and other consultation panels from Swim Wales user groups. The purpose of this review was to ensure that when we emerge from national lockdown and move into a new era that Swim Wales events remain relevant, fit for purpose and above all accessible to all our members. We considered our existing offer very carefully and we identified several gaps and opportunities for development. The Swim Wales Events team is now in the process of producing a report that will be presented to Chairs of our affiliated clubs at our July club engagement session.
There is currently lots of work going on behind the scenes to ensure that our sport can again return to competitions and events, whether that be local galas or national championships. the team are writing detailed Return to Event and Competition Delivery Guidance to support all of our member clubs. This guidance will ensure member clubs are equipped to deliver safe and manageable competitions when licensing returns, which we know are critical for our affiliated member clubs and Swimmers. It is important to note that this guidance will reflect the restrictions and regulations in place from the Welsh Government at that time, and will include all of our insight and knowledge of the 5 UK events we have been involved with since January, and of course the ‘proof of concept’ findings from our Festival of Swimming.
Our intention is to restart licensing for Welsh competitions and events in September 2021. Member clubs should also note that it is likely that restrictions will only permit small, internal club galas to return initially. The Swim Wales guidance and ‘Safe Event Model’ will offer ‘templates’ of events that will be manageable - Time trials, ‘Duel in the Pool’ (inter club), No Time Gala or Junior Development Meets (mainly focussing on level 3 galas). It is also the intention of Swim Wales to deliver three Regional Competitions and the Swim Wales Masters Short Course in November, and the Swim Wales Winters in December (incorporating the Welsh Short Course Nationals). All of this ambition is highly dependent on the national restrictions put in place by Welsh government and two successful national test events for our sport.
Post lockdown, we have continued to petition and lobby Welsh Government for the safe return of aquatic competition. We are working directly with the National Sports Group, WSA, Major Events Unit and 2 large local authorities on Phase 3 Test Events (Festival of Swimming). In addition to this, we recently hosted the British Selection Open Water Race at Llandegfedd Lake last weekend, and plan to deliver the Challenge Series in September.
We will continue to keep our members up to date with all of these developments over the coming weeks. We look forward to sharing as much information as possible on the next engagement sessions and via social media and the website. Please rest assured that progress is being made and that every action is being taken to get our swimmers and athletes back to healthy competition in Wales.
Chief Executive officer