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Swim England temporarily stops issuing licences for swimming competitions

Swim England is to temporarily stop issuing licences for swimming competitions across the country.

The decision covers competitions at levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 and includes events which have already been scheduled for later this year.

Tom Baster, the chairperson of Swim England’s Swimming Leadership Group, said the decision had been taken to ensure swimmers have a safe return to competitive action when lockdown restrictions are eventually lifted.

He said: “The Swim England Swimming Leadership Group is currently working alongside the other aquatic disciplines on a detailed plan to ensure a safe and successful return to the water.

“This will be implemented when Government guidance makes it possible for our sport to recommence.

“As part of that planning, we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend the granting of licences for swimming competitions at levels 1,2, 3 and 4.

“Gala organisers are requested not to submit any further applications to their regional licensing officers until further notice, although they can continue to consult with regional licensing officers about their plans throughout this period.

“Whilst our plans remain necessarily fluid at this stage, it is clear that in the interests of athlete development and safety and an effective and coordinated competition calendar, licensed competition cannot recommence on the day that pools reopen.

“A clear timeline for the appropriate reintroduction of competition will be published once further information on the easing of lockdown and social distancing measures becomes available.

Challenges for all involved

“For this reason, all licensed events currently scheduled on the Swim England website should be regarded as provisional in status, pending the release of further information.

“Everyone is trying to plan for an as yet unknown return to activity date and this clearly causes challenges for all involved in our great sport.

“We appreciate your support in navigating this issue as successfully as possible to deliver an outcome in the best interests of the participants and all other stakeholders.”

In planning for a return to competition, other events such as leagues and Masters will also be considered and further information will be released in due course.

Events are licensed by Swim England so they meet certain standards to ensure fair competition – and are graded into four levels.

Level 1 meets are long course (50m) only and cover National, Regional and County Championships, while level 2 are the same but for short course (25m) competitions.

Long and short course events are covered in level 3 meets, which are held to enable athletes to achieve times for entry into regional and county championships and other meets at level 1 or level 2.

The level 4 meets are entry-level events in pools 25m or greater for inexperienced athletes and swimmers seeking to compete outside their club environment.

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