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Swim England submits evidence showing impact coronavirus has had on sector

Swim England has submitted evidence to the Government detailing the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the sector – and reiterated its plea for financial support to help pools facing closure.

Parliament’s Digital, Culture Media and Sport Select Committee is conducting an inquiry on the issue ahead of publishing a report later in the year.

It’s looking at both the immediate and likely long-term impact of Covid-19 on the industry as well as the effectiveness of the support offered so far by the Government and arms-length bodies.

Swim England has detailed its findings and sent it to the inquiry and again urged the Government to financially help those pools at risk of closure due to the outbreak.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England Chief Executive, said: “For swimmers, divers, artistic swimmers and water polo players, all the way from our elite athletes to casual participants, the enforced closure of pools as a result of Covid-19 may be the longest many have been out of the water for, which can adversely affect both their physical and mental wellbeing.

“The economic impact of Covid-19 on aquatic centres, swim schools, coaches and clubs continue to be significant.

Serious long-term impact

“We estimate that more than 5,000 swimming pools, many of which are owned by local councils, and more than 2,000 swim schools, including many small businesses, have been closed.

“Many operators are having to adjust to losing 100 per cent of their income as a result of the closure of swimming pools and are now at crisis point as a result.

“We used our submission to highlight again that substantial, additional financial support is the most pressing and urgent need to ensure hundreds of swimming pools are not mothballed.

“If unaddressed this will have the most serious long-term impact on both the sector and public health more widely, reducing the opportunities for millions of people to be active in the water.”

Swim England last week produced its Returning to the Pool guidance to help ensure a safe return to the water – and is waiting for the Government to give them the go-ahead to reopen.

Jane has written to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressing the ‘urgent need’ for a  pools reopening date and under what conditions.

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