Help us to shape the future values and vision of Swim England at our roadshows

A challenging year but focus is on future and returning to sports we love again

Nicola Latty, the chairperson of the Home Countries Masters Swimming Management Group, reflects on a challenging year for Masters swimmers and looks ahead to moving forward again in 2021.

Masters swimmers have demonstrated remarkable ingenuity to keep fit during 2020.

From weird and wonderful online fitness classes, to swimming using tethers and venturing into open water, many of us found interesting ways to keep going when pools were closed or coronavirus restrictions prevented us from training with our clubs.

From a competitive point of view, 2020 will be remembered as a year of missed opportunities and lost events.

There are many challenges still facing us all over the winter months but we have been focusing on the future and looking ahead to 2021 and, hopefully, a return to enjoying the sports we all love once again.

In the early part of 2021, making bookings for large scale events seems imprudent given the level of uncertainty and the need for them to be financially viable.

That’s why, in October, we asked for your views on what format the British Masters Swimming Championships should take as we had taken the ‘difficult decision’ that a ‘normal’ competition would not be possible.

We’d like to thank everyone for their views and we are in the process of evaluating them before announcing details of our plans.

2020 Decathlon

Obviously a lack of pool time means the 2020 Decathlon cannot be completed so we are proposing that the few events recorded in the 2020 year can be carried forward to the 2021 Decathlon.

The exact format for 2021 has yet to be decided upon but may include virtual events where the swims can be recorded and recognised within a ranking system as well as the Decathlon.

Procedures for virtual events will be communicated in due course.

The Swim England Level X Racing and Swim Wales Super Series will provide some valuable insight and involvement for Masters swimmers.

Proposed meets would provide for smaller club/inter-club/regional events giving swimmers geographically advantageous opportunities to collect the desired numbers of swims over the year to provide for a meaningful Decathlon.

Cherriman Award nominations

We are now looking for nominations for the 2020 Cherriman Award.

This award is for service to Masters, be it a lifetime of participation and service or, perhaps, something topical this year if there is someone that has helped and inspired others through lockdown.

There has been a huge contribution from swimmers as frontline and key workers, and perhaps some of these stories can be highlighted when considering nominations for the Award.

There’s more details on the Cherriman Award, including past winners, and the nomination form available here.

I’m looking forward to reading some amazing nominations.

On behalf of the Home Countries Masters Swimming Management Group, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your commitment and dedication to our sport in these challenging times.

I hope you are able to enjoy a lovely Christmas and, fingers crossed, we can look forward to a Happy New Year and being back on poolside for competitions once again.