I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions but I’m so proud of our swimming family27 June 2020
Proud chief executive Jane Nickerson reflects on the waves of support for Swim England’s #OpenOurPools campaign
Like many people, I have been on a roller coaster of emotions since the Government said that swimming pools would not be reopening on 4 July.
Shock, disappointment, frustration, anger and bewilderment were at the forefront of my mind following the announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
How can pubs and cinemas open for business and pools can’t? I’m still struggling to get my head around the logic, especially as our Returning to the Pool guidance – which has been developed in consultation with Public Health England – proves how swimming can be safely done.
Over the hectic few days that have followed, however, my over-riding feeling has been one of pride.
I’ve been proud of the way we quickly responded to the news by launching the #OpenOurPools campaign.
I’ve been proud to have received so many kind messages that people have taken their time to send me.
I’ve been proud of the coverage across the national media to raise awareness of the campaign.
Most importantly, I’ve been proud of the overwhelming support that our crusade has received from the length and breadth of the country.
Your support means so much
Yes, some people have told us they don’t agree with our stance. That’s fine – everyone is entitled to express their opinion and we understand and respect their views.
However, almost 45,000 have now signed our petition calling on the Government to think again and announce a date when pools can reopen as a matter of urgency.
We will be presenting the petition to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport early next week so if you haven’t signed it yet, please do so as soon as possible.
Add the petition to the huge backing we’ve seen from every level of all our disciplines – from past and present Olympians, club athletes to recreational swimmers or those who rely on the water to help manage physical and mental health conditions – and it’s clear what the majority want to see happen.
To each and every one of you, all I can say is a massive thank you.
Your support means so much and we’ll continue to keep lobbying the Government. Hopefully, we’ll be back in the water soon enjoying the activities we all love and have missed so much.
When that happens, we won’t simply sit back and relax.
We will continue to fight for more financial help from the Government to ensure those facilities at risk of permanent closure get the necessary support they’ll need to stay open.
Swimming pools are an integral and important part of every community and we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that remains the case across the country.
In the meantime, stay safe and thanks again – it means so much.
Jane M Nickerson
Get involved with #OpenOurPools campaign
- Write to your MP.
- Post on social media.
- Share our infographics.
- Sign the petition.
Find out more and download our resources by clicking here.