17 March 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday 16 March a range of measures to help combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Having further reviewed the guidance, it is Swim England’s interpretation that club activity falls into the ‘public gathering’ category and therefore it is strongly advising clubs to consider cancelling or postponing activity – including events – until the end of May.
Swim schools should also make an informed decision on future lessons based on the current information from the Government.
Swim England will suspend talent activities across all disciplines with immediate effect, having already announced the decision to cancel all national events until the end of May.
This will include all international and domestic camps, competitions and related activities such as coach conferences across all aquatic sports.
British Swimming, which has also cancelled and postponed a number of events, is speaking to its elite athletes regarding training in the forthcoming weeks.
Best course of action
Jane Nickerson, Swim England Chief Executive, recognised the worries from clubs and learn to swim providers but said a final decision on whether to call off sessions and events had to rest with them.
She added: “We strongly advise on what we believe is the best course of action in the interests of our coaches, teachers, athletes, learners and volunteers.
“We will review this on an ongoing basis and continue to provide updates.”
Meanwhile, George Wood, Swim England’s Sport Development Director, has said the suspension on talent activities will be in place until further notice.
“We understand this will be disappointing for many and, ideally, we would like to rearrange later in the year when we can,” said George. “However, this will depend on how the current situation evolves.
“Our talent programmes will be contacting relevant athletes, coaches and deliverers to inform them of this decision and with further relevant details.
“We’d like to apologise to everyone for any inconvenience this will cause but know that you will understand that it’s been taken in the best interests of social responsibility and provides some certainty during the unprecedented situation we are facing.”