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Swim England unveils its return-to-action plan in exclusive podcast

Swim England has unveiled a four-point plan to ensure all its disciplines, clubs, members and workforce are ready to return to action when the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

While the country remains in lockdown in a bid to combat the spread of COVID-19, preparations are being put in place by the recognised national governing body for when pools are open again and events can be held.

In a new podcast produced by Anything But Footy on behalf of Swim England, which is available to download now, the main elements of the strategy are revealed.

The key objectives focus on:

  • Clubs and a club structure able to restart and sustain in a different environment
  • A workforce (paid and voluntary) in place ready to deliver
  • Engaged participants wanting to come back
  • An events structure to come back to.

George Wood, Swim England Sport Development Director, told the podcast: “Our mission is to make sure our sports are ready to go when the coronavirus restrictions are lifted and that means four key things.

“Firstly, clubs and a clubs structure that are able to restart and sustain in a different environment.

“A workforce, both our paid and voluntary workforce, that are in place and ready to deliver again as they are crucial to all of our sports.

“We need to have engaged participants who want to come back to the sport and an events structure that they can come back into and take part in.

“Those are our four key areas of work – clubs, workforce, participants and events.”

An incredibly tough time for everyone

George goes into further detail on the work Swim England is carrying out to help clubs in terms of funding and governance, the education and training of the workforce, how participants and coaches are kept activated and motivated and how the events task force are effectively planning a structured return to competition.

He added: “We understand that it’s an incredibly tough time for everyone.

“For a lot of people involved in our clubs, they will have other worries and concerns going on over and above swimming and our aquatic sports.

“We really get that but, at the same time, we want to make sure that we have a great sport ready to come back to.

“Clearly there is going to have to be some compromise, clearly there is going to be some challenges with it but working together we can make sure we get all of our great aquatic sports back in a place where we are ready to go – and ready to get a load of athletes in the water and enjoying themselves again.”

The podcast also features interviews with Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson and Head of Talent Swimming Grant Robins.

Jane said: “The overall message to all our members and all our partners and everyone we work with is stay home, stay safe and let’s get through this as quickly as we can.

“Let the key workers do their job and then we will be back in the pool doing all the things we love sooner rather than later.

“We are absolutely there for all our members. We’ll facilitate everything we can. We want to keep our whole swimming family together, working as one team in this and come out fitter and stronger than ever before.”

Grant added: “It’s a great sport and we are missing it terribly and I’m sure that’s not as much as our actual participants because that’s what they do on a daily basis.

“We are there to try and keep people fit and healthy and ready to go when we can.”

You can listen to the full 15-minute podcast above or, alternatively, download it from Anything But Footy.