Swim England

A nation swimming

National Plan for Sport must provide pools the country needs, says Swim England

Swim England has stressed that any new National Plan for Sport and Recreation must include providing the swimming pools the country needs as a priority.

The recognised national governing body has submitted evidence to a House of Lords inquiry investigating the effectiveness of current sport and recreation policies and initiatives.

Made up of members of the House of Lords from across political parties, the influential committee has been appointed to consider the case for a National Plan for Sport and Recreation.

In its submission, Swim England raised the importance of the Government investing enough money to ensure the country had enough swimming pools to support swimming, diving, water polo and artistic swimming clubs to have access to the water.

Swim England raised its concerns that the country faces a looming shortage of pools – a situation that will only be made worse by the impact of Covid-19.

It has also stressed the importance of the Government supporting clubs so that they can continue to offer opportunities for people to be active and to support pools and clubs cope with the impact of Covid-19 and beyond.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said: “We welcome the opportunity to contribute to this important inquiry at such a challenging time for everyone involved in sport.

“The continued impact of Covid-19 places immediate challenges for swimming which must be addressed, but concerted action is also required across government to solve longer-term issues, namely the looming shortage of pools.

Essential services

“They are vital for our affiliated clubs and members who take part in our amazing sports, for the next generation learning how to enjoy a lifelong love of the water by learning to swim, for those who rely on aquatic activity to keep fit as they can’t physically exercise on dry land and for the thousands of people who work in the sector.

“This is why we’re also calling for them to be classed as essential services which should open at the earliest available opportunity when the current national lockdown restrictions are eased.”

Swim England has also included in its submission the importance in tackling racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and ableism to make all sport as inclusive as possible.

Jane added: “People from all communities should feel able and welcome to enjoy the benefits of taking part in sport and physical activity and especially aquatic activity.”