Following the Government's press conference yesterday (16/03/2020) and the new advice that affects all of us, we would like to update you on the Club's position as of today and what may happen when the Government imposes next steps.
Current Swim England advice
“At present the Government has not closed schools or restricted school activity and therefore we do not see any reason why clubs should not continue with their training programmes in their own environment within the guidelines of the facility”. Their advice in full can be found here https://www.swimming.org/swimengland/events-cancelled-coronavirus/
We understand that this is an unprecedented and worrying time for everyone. Our priority must be the safety and well being of everyone involved with our Club. We currently remain open for swimming classes and swimming/water polo training in line with guidance from Swim England and the position of local authority schools. Please be assured that we are continually reviewing our position regarding both swimming and water polo sessions.
The advice continues to be that proximity to others whilst swimming in chlorinated water is acceptable. However, there are some changes that we intend to make with immediate effect in line with the latest Government advice.
Changes with immediate effect
1. In order to minimise risk, land training will be suspended for all squads until further notice;
2. Fewer adults at venues - in line with advice on limiting social contact and to protect both our swimmers and coaches we would advise you to stay out of the building whilst swimming sessions/water polo sessions run. Please can only one adult enter the building with their child attending swimming sessions and, ideally, leave after drop off. We are asking parents not to gather in social groups at venues or in close proximity to each other for any reason.
3. Please could swimmers avoid forming groups poolside and avoid group discussion out of the water before/during/after sessions.
4. Please could swimmers get into and exit the water quickly at the start and end of sessions.
5. We would prefer for swimmers to change separately in cubicles rather than open changing areas where they are available.
6. Please could swimmers maintain extra hygiene of their kit/net bags and clean them with antibacterial spray where possible.
7. Please could swimmers thoroughly disinfect training aids between sessions.
8. Please could swimmers only bring clean towels washed at 60 degrees to every session.
9. Please could swimmers not share training aids or swimwear.
Ongoing measures to safeguard members
We feel that remaining open for our members to swim is important at the current time. We are mindful of the impact that closure could bring to both the physical fitness and mental health of our swimmers who regularly exercise.
We are issuing advice to our coaches today on how to minimise physical contact with swimmers and promote distance between swimmers wherever possible.
What we are asking you to do
· Please make your children aware of the changes that we are making with immediate effect.
· If you are a swimmer yourself then please follow the advice and observe the changes outlined above.
· Please continue to follow advice around extra hygiene precautions and thorough hand washing and encourage children to do the same.
· Whilst we wish to reduce the number of adults present at our swimming sessions for now, we do need to continue to have at least one parent/responsible adult present at Squad sessions held at Castle Vale and Tamworth Enterprise College. This does not apply to Learn to Swim sessions. We will ask Squad Reps to coordinate this.
· We would urge you to make the decision that is right for you and your family circumstances. We will understand if you do not wish to attend sessions whilst there is so much uncertainty around COVID-19 and appreciate that some families have members who are at greater risk through underlying health conditions and/or age. There is no pressure from the Club for swimmers, coaches, parents or volunteers to attend any session if they feel it will risk their health. For this reason, session attendance will not be monitored for the foreseeable future.
· If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever then no-one from that household should attend a swimming/water polo session. Everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days in line with Government advice.
· Please advise the Club’s Welfare Officer immediately if any swimmer or member of their household is diagnosed with COVID-19 or has symptoms and must self-isolate. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
What may happen next
It is likely that when the decision is made for schools to close, or where Swim England advises us to, we will suspend swimming/water polo sessions until further notice. We will communicate this to you by email and where possible on WhatsApp groups if this happens.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
With kind regards
The Boldmere Swimming Club Committee