Swim England

A nation swimming

Reflecting on the things we’re so thankful for ... and hoping brighter times lie ahead

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson shares a festive message and hopes for a happier 2021.

Christmas is a time of hope and gives us a chance to reflect on the things we’re so grateful for.

As 2020 draws to a close, many of us will be appreciative of the simple things in life we normally take for granted.

It may be the early morning training sessions that are usually greeted with a sleepy groan, or the chance to be poolside to cheer on a loved one as they take part in our wonderful events.

We have missed them so much in what has been a tough year for everyone involved in our fantastic sports.

However, while the past 12 months will forever be remembered for the wrong reasons, there is still plenty to be thankful for.

I’m thankful to all our key workers who have continued to be there for us during this time of adversity. We were proud to recognise so many of our members who are on the front line fighting against this dreadful virus, often at risk to themselves.

I’m thankful of the way our community joined together as one outstanding team to successfully fight to get our pools open.

I’m thankful that our clubs refused to buckle as setback after setback threatened to overwhelm so many. The extra mile they went to ensure their members remained engaged while being unable to get into the water showed why we will be even stronger in the future.

I’m thankful to the operators, their staff, our swim school owners, teachers, coaches and volunteers who all went above and beyond to help keep everyone safe while doing the activities they love.

Finally, I’m immensely thankful to our swimmers, divers, artistic swimmers and water polo players for their remarkable spirit and devotion to their disciplines.

We know many challenges remain in the coming months – especially now further restrictions have been imposed by the Government which has sadly seen pools close again in tier four areas.

Too many of our facilities across the country still face an uncertain future, too many of our over 18 members are shut out of their local clubs and people are missing the buzz of competitive action.

Continue campaigning and lobbying

However, we have to remain optimistic that brighter times lie ahead.

There have been positives throughout these unprecedented times.

Since the first lockdown ended in July, many more pools reopened allowing more and more people to return to the water.

Our Level X Racing has given thousands of swimmers the chance to experience the buzz of having a goal to strive for.

There is more exciting news about Level X coming in the new year and the rearranged Olympic Games and Paralympics are also on the horizon.

You can rest assured that each and every one of us at Swim England will continue campaigning and lobbying the Government for more support for our family of sports and swim schools, to get facilities reopened and everyone back in the water as a matter of urgency.

We hope for a return to some sort of normality. It may not happen overnight but we will get there.

Thank you again for all your continued support in 2020.

I hope each and every one of you is having a very lovely Christmas and here’s to a happier new year – and please, stay safe.

Jane M Nickerson