Swim England

A nation swimming

Swim England welcome report highlighting sports sector's challenges and needs

The DCMS Select Committee recently published a report that highlights several of the significant challenges the sports sector has faced during Covid-19, and what needs to be done to ensure its long-term survival.

The role of the Select Committee is to scrutinise the work of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Swim England submitted evidence to the inquiry, highlighting a range of issues including the importance of investment into pools, the ageing pool stock in the country and the importance of good governance within sports.

Responding to the publication of the report, Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson said: “This was an important inquiry which we are grateful the Committee undertook.

“We welcome the publication of this report which we hope will be considered very carefully by the Government. Many of the challenges identified are very familiar to everyone involved with aquatics.

It is vital the Government acts

“In our evidence we reiterated that the single biggest risk to the long term viability of our amazing aquatic sports in England is the looming shortage of appropriate facilities.

“Even before Covid we were forecasting a 40 per cent reduction in the number of swimming pools by the end of the decade – leaving 3.5 million swimmers, divers, water polo players and artistic swimmers unable to take part in their sports.

“It was therefore pleasing to see the issue of facilities being picked up so strongly by the Committee and it is vital the Government acts.

“We need to see adequate investment in public leisure to enable local authorities to redesign, upgrade, renovate and where necessary, build new facilities.

“This will not only help clubs and organised sport, but also contribute to improving the health and activity levels of the nation and reduce the pressure on the NHS.”

Jane added: “The report also identified the vital role of volunteers and I would take this opportunity to once again thank the thousands of volunteers in clubs up and down the country who keep our sports going.”