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Plans for summer 'Festival of Swimming' along route back to competition

An ‘exciting prospect’ to compete in a national ‘Festival of Swimming’ has been unveiled by Swim England and British Swimming.

While the plans for a return to competition are still in the early stages, a network of racing opportunities has been agreed.

This ‘restart to racing’ will consist of meets held throughout England, Scotland and Wales, in long course facilities, with the aim of getting as many young swimmers back racing as possible.

It is hoped that the meets will be held within a short window between mid-July and early August, combining to create a ‘Festival of Swimming’, with a pooling of results to create a national leaderboard for age groups and events.

The meets will be largely age group based, with a focus on 100m to- 400m distances and following a similar format.

The details of each meet will be confirmed in the coming months, to take into account the UK and devolved government Covid guidelines that are expected to be in place at the time.

This festival will replace the British and Home Nation summer meets that, unfortunately, will not be possible this coming year with the current lack of clarity around permissible numbers in venues.

Exciting prospect

Grant Robins, Swim England Head of Talent – Swimming, said: “This is an exciting prospect for all involved given the last year.

“An opportunity for as many swimmers as possible to compete nationally, but in their locality, will help us all look forward to a virtual end of season of success, enjoyment and inclusion.”

British Swimming’s Head of Elite Development, Tim Jones, added: “We recognise the challenges of the past 12 months and how this has impacted on our clubs and their memberships.

“As such we are aiming to make these competitions as inclusive as possible, to offer a restart racing opportunity to as many swimmers as is reasonably allowed.

“We envisage this festival to also be the kick start that our sport needs, and hopefully it can provide the light at the end of the tunnel that everyone involved in our sport is craving.”

Further details will be available in due course.