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COVID-19 AND SWIMMING IN OPEN WATER


In the Government announcement on Sunday 10th May it was stated that swimming in open water is permitted now. However at this stage Reading Swimming Club cannot support or organise any return to swimming, in an open water setting.

There are a number of reasons for this:

? Social distancing restrictions remain in place.
? As Swim England have also stated, regarding open water swimming: ?no club activities should be taking place at this time? this is because the government activities do not permit organised groups to exercise together.
? At this stage we are not covered by our insurers for any club based swimming activities.
? Many venues remain closed and therefore cannot provide the required safe environment.

The coaching team will look at this option again when club activities are permitted, and when we and our insurers are both satisfied that we can do so in a safe environment.


COVID-19 IS NOT THE ONLY DANGER TO LIFE FROM SWIMMING IN OPEN WATER


All risks including those we normally mitigate in our structured sessions need to be considered before swimming in open water. Therefore, we would encourage you to wait until we are able to organise a safe environment for our swimmers.

If you are seriously considering swimming in open water as individuals then we highly recommend you read through the Swim England advice and the linked information booklet below which provides comprehensive guidance:

Click on this link to read the guidance document

Extract from a joint Swim England and RLSS Statement:

?Whilst open water swimming is permitted by the government, you should ask yourself whether you think it is a socially responsible thing for you to do; due to the inherent dangers, increased risk and pressure that this may cause the NHS and emergency services. Certainly, if you are new to open water swimming, we don?t advise that you go open water swimming outside of an operated and supervised venue which has a safety crew (many of these are not open currently)?

Accredited and open water venues are set up to provide safe places to swim in line with health and safety procedures - these are the obvious ones we see: lifeguards/coaches/rescue boats or kayaks. However, it is also important to consider the actual lake/river environment. These venues are regularly de-weeded; chemically treated; and have wildlife precautions in place. Other bodies of water that are not part of a venue therefore carry an extremely high risk to swim in. A swimmer should never freely jump into a body of water if the water clarity is poor as you are unaware of what is below the surface.


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE CHAIR


Swim England have announced that they interpret club activity as falling into the 'public gathering' category and therefore they advise clubs to consider cancelling or postponing activity until the end of May.

The health and well-being of all our members is of the upmost importance to the club, which is why we have made the difficult decision to suspend all swimming activities with immediate effect, until at least the end of May.

We will continue to review the situation and provide you with any information as and when we have it.

We know that many of you will have questions, but we ask for your patience at this time, to allow us to make the necessary arrangements and implement this suspension of activities.

Please keep an eye out for email correspondence, updates on the website and on social media. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.