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Swim England announce changes to licensing criteria to help deaf athletes

Swim England have confirmed the next phase of changes to the licensing criteria to help ensure deaf swimmers can take part in competitions on equal terms.

From the start of September all meets licensed at Levels 1-2 must provide a secondary strobe light at their events (unless unable due to technical reasons).

A secondary strobe is a device which flashes to signal the start of a race to ensure deaf athletes have a clear indication of when the race gets underway.

Swim England has been working hard to ensure that competitions can incorporate this vital piece of equipment and will continue to work with our partners to ensure any remaining facilities that don’t have access to a secondary strobe will do as soon as possible.

The new conditions

Swim England have sent the following statement out to licensing officers around the changes.

“For Licensing Applications received on or after September 1st 2022, all meets Licensed at Levels 1 or 2 MUST provide a secondary strobe where it is requested by an athlete at the time of entry unless a secondary strobe cannot be provided at the meet for technical reasons.

“In the case that a secondary strobe cannot be provided at the venue a full explanation of the issues preventing the provision must be provided with the Licensing Application and forwarded to the National Licensing Officer for recording purposes and to allow Swim England to investigate fully.

“The Meet Conditions must advise athletes that ‘a secondary strobe will be provided where it is requested by the athlete at the time of entry’.

“If this cannot be met, for technical reasons only, it should be stated in the Conditions and a full explanation be submitted with the Licence Application.

“Similarly, for Licensing Applications received on or after September 1st 2022, all meets Licensed at Level 1 or 2 MUST have a minimum depth at the starting end of 1.35 metres.”

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