Month: May 2020

Key safety advice for open water swimmers is published as lockdown is eased

Key safety advice for all open water swimmers has been drawn up by Swim England, British Triathlon and the Royal Life Saving Society UK following the partial lifting of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The bodies have collaborated to draw up the guidance after the Government announced open water swimming would be possible from Wednesday 13 May.

All three organisations are encouraging people to take extra precautions when swimming in lakes, rivers or the sea – no matter how experienced they are.

The aim is to help prevent swimmers from getting into difficulties in open water – especially as the majority of locations will not have lifeguards – and putting extra pressure on already stretched emergency services.

The Covid-19 Guidance to Open Water Swimmers is being hosted on the SH2OUT website and includes:

  • Information on where to swim and accredited venues
  • Six key steps to consider before going on an open water swim at unsupervised locations
  • Assessing risk due to weather conditions and water temperature
  • Advice on wetsuits and equipment
  • Course planning and the safe entry and exit of the water
  • Plus, recovery and nutrition.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England Chief Executive, said: “It’s imperative that even the most seasoned of open water swimmers reads through this advice and follows it carefully.

Think of others

“Not knowing the temperature of the water or how strong the current is could lead to swimmers struggling and in need of emergency help.

“That’s something we’re keen to avoid at all times but even more so in the current situation.

“We’re pleased to have worked so closely with British Triathlon and the Royal Life Saving Society UK on this guidance to ensure our members can enjoy the beauty of our natural surroundings safely.”

Andy Salmon, Chief Executive of British Triathlon, said: “We would encourage anyone considering open water swimming over the coming weeks to think before doing so and read our advice very carefully.

“During these unprecedented times, it is vital that we think of others before ourselves and make sure we neither risk the spreading of the Covid-19 virus or place unnecessary burden on emergency services.

“We would also urge swimmers to comply with government guidance on social distance and travel.”

Royal Life Saving Society UK Chief Executive Robert Gofton said: “We are extremely concerned that people will now rush to get into open water without proceeding with caution and understanding the potential life-threatening implications.

Know your limitations

“If you are not used to swimming in open water, we strongly urge you NOT to start now unless you can do so under supervision and guidance.

“Open water sites, including beaches, are not currently supervised. There is no one to help you if you get in trouble and emergency services may not be able to get to you in time.

“Please stay sensible, know your limitations, and please enjoy the water, safely.”

The RNLI has warned that there are currently no lifeguards on beaches and anyone who goes sea swimming must “understand the risks and take the necessary steps to keep themselves safe.”

Meanwhile, the three organisations are also due to publish advice for venues on the safest way to operate in line with social distancing measures in the near future.

They are also encouraging people to use facilities as close to where they live as possible.

This advice is for England only and aimed at individual swimmers as club activity is not currently permitted under the Government guidelines.

Key safety advice for open water swimmers is published as lockdown is eased

FW: Stronger Affiliation Update

 

Dear Club

Please see important information below regarding minimum Swim England affiliation requirements coming into effect.

What is Stronger Affiliation?

Swim England is bringing in new guidelines for its affiliated clubs in a bid to show they have the highest standards of safe and effective practice in place.

The Stronger Affiliation process is being introduced so new and existing members know clubs are well run and their personnel have the necessary safeguarding checks in place to ensure members’ safety. For further information please visit – https://www.swimming.org/swimengland/stronger-affiliation-process/

What will it mean for my club?

If your club is already SwimMark accredited, you just need to maintain your accreditation.

Clubs who have not completed SwimMark will have to provide six pieces of evidence to stay affiliated to Swim England on an annual basis. The six pieces of evidence are:

1.     Approved Club Constitution

2.     Risk Assessments

3.     Club Personnel Record (to include qualifications, valid DBS and approved Safeguarding training) – including information on the Coaching & Teaching Register

4.     Safeguarding and Protecting Children and Time to Listen certificates for the Club Welfare Officer.

5.     Welfare Officer compliance statement

6.     Club Chair compliance statement

If a club provides all of the above information, then they will be compliant for Swim England changes in 2021. Further guidance is included in the attached ‘Stronger Affiliation Matrix’ document.

Failure to meet this new minimum standard of compliance will result in a club being suspended temporarily or permanently at the beginning of 2021. 

What are the next steps for my club?

All clubs that are currently SwimMark accredited will not have to provide the six pieces of evidence as they have already met this standard as part of their SwimMark process. However, this is under the proviso that their SwimMark accreditation is maintained.

Clubs who do not have the SwimMark accreditation will need to complete the Stronger Affiliation process. The next online live webinar to demonstrate how clubs can complete the Stronger Affiliation process will be held on:

·        Monday 18th May, 7pm-8.30pm

To book your space, please email providing your name, club name and your position within the club. You will then be emailed a link to access the live webinar.

This is currently the last Stronger Affiliation webinar the South West region have scheduled however we will consider scheduling further webinars based on demand.

When is the deadline for completion?

All non SwimMark clubs will be able to submit evidence for Stronger Affiliation to an online from 1st June 2020 and all evidence will need to be uploaded by 16th November 2020 so this can be checked and approved by the region ahead of the national deadline 1st  December 2020.

 

 

 

Stacey Millett

South West Development Officer

T 01823 666792

E

 

Swim England

 

Swim England South West Office,

Castle Road, Chelston Business Park,

Wellington TA21 9JQ.

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