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Swim Wales' Message to Clubs regarding Pools Reopening

Swimming, Diving, Artistic Swimming , Water Polo, Education
National, Performance

Dear Chairs & Member Clubs,

I am writing to you regarding the opening of pools in Wales, and in particular the timeline that we are working to as a collective.

As you well know, all of our pools closed in Wales on 20th March. For 13 weeks now we have had no activity across our member clubs, swim schools, public swimming, aquatic classes, sports development training. This covers a total of 500,000 people and 9 user groups in Wales. Everyone has been extremely patient to date as society gets to grips with the pandemic and the actions necessary to reduce the spread of infection (‘R’ number) across Wales.

The easement of restrictions by governments has been fragmented, and it is clear to everybody that England, Scotland and Wales are all moving forward at different times. From the very start Swim Wales have engaged directly with Welsh Government and we have supported discussions with the Welsh Sports Association and Sport Wales to do what is necessary to get us all back in the pool. This organised and patient approach has resulted in a number of our Elite (Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth) Swimmers returning to training next week, a massive break through.

We celebrated this last week, as it was the result of 5 weeks of work by myself and the team. We have, in parallel, been working on the other 8 users groups which obviously includes our member clubs and their 11,000 members. This will again be subject to close working with the established groups at Welsh Government level and will be supported by our submission of guidance documents on 3rd July. We need your continued support in this process, we need you to trust in the approach to date and your patience will be key in the coming weeks. We love to see swimmers, parents and clubs express their desire to return to the pool and we will actively encourage you to share this with us. However I urge you NOT to launch individual ‘campaigns’ or petitions online via social media at this stage as it does not help the process that we are in, in fact it makes our job acting on your behalf harder!

I know this will be hard to do but I know you will support us in this request and trust the fact that we are doing everything possible with the decision makers to get us back in the water very soon.

Diolch everyone,

Fergus Feeney

Chief Executive Officer

 25th June 2020