Swim England London

Aquatic sports in the London region

A Message from the Chair – COVID-19 Restrictions

Dear all,

Over recent weeks I have attended a couple of Chairs’ Forums to discuss with you our approach to political engagement in relation to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on our sport. You may be aware that this coming Monday there will be a parliamentary debate as a result of an e-petition entitled ‘Prevent gyms closing due to a spike in Covid-19 cases’, which has garnered over 600,000 signatures and the debate will include leisure centres and pools – which, therefore, has a direct impact on our sport and the ability of Clubs to return to the pool.

Whilst the current national lockdown restrictions is due to end on 2nd December, with most of the facilities we use reopening on 3rd December when lockdown 2.0 ends, we don’t know what tier London will return to and what restrictions will apply. It is absolutely essential for our Clubs to be able to return to community leisure facilities and that these facilities therefore remain open across all tiers and during any future national lockdown.

With this in mind, I am writing to encourage all of our Clubs to contact their local MP this week to implore them to make representations and support the petition during Monday’s parliamentary debate. We want all of our Clubs to be able to return to the water so that our swimmers aren’t affected in future lockdowns, including regional tiered restrictions, and our London MPs must be encouraged to support the cause on behalf of their constituents – our swimmers.

I’ve highlighted some bullet points that you may wish to use in your letters:

  • Our Clubs are operating Covid-19 Secure activity in Covid-19 Secure facilities, and both Clubs and operators have worked hard and jointly to ensure that swimming activity is safe
  • Swimming as an activity saves the health and social care sector over £357million a year through improved physical and mental health, and this saving cannot be realised all the time that the facilities people swim in are closed
  • UKActive research has shown an extremely low prevalence of Covid-19 in leisure settings, with just 2.83 cases per 100,000 visits; this shows that Covid-19 Secure measures are working
  • The community leisure sector as a whole contributes £3.3bn in social value to the economy every year, and our Clubs form a part of this
  • Swimming and physical activity reduces obesity which has been shown to be a major aggravating factor in Covid-19 infection

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you require any support or have any questions.

With very best wishes,

Alex Harrison


Swim England London