Divers unite with swimmers on pools
Continued closure of public swimming pools in the UK because of the coronavirus pandemic is causing problems for scuba dive-club members who don’t have ready access to open water, and often depend on them for training.
Now swimming’s governing body Swim England has warned that some pools could remain closed for good if action isn’t taken soon.
“Many of these facilities will not survive without Government support and the least they deserve is some certainty about when they can open their doors and start servicing their local communities once more,” says chief executive Jane Nickerson. “The longer pools are closed, the more facilities we will sadly see never reopening.”
The government’s recently stated aspiration to open gyms and leisure-centres by mid-July has prompted Nickerson to request clarity on whether or not this includes swimming pools.
Diving’s own governing body the British Sub Aqua Club has now called on divers to support Swim England’s #OpenOurPools campaign. It says it has been working alongside the organisation, as well as Scottish Swimming, Swim Wales and Swim Ireland, to prepare for reopening.
BSAC recently published Swimming Pool Guidance, which it says shows that despite coronavirus pools can be well-managed spaces and safe environments for users.
“During a health crisis when the government talks about the importance of physical activity, there is no reason why we can’t safely open swimming-pools, which enable people to be active and improve their physical and mental well-being,” says chief executive Mary Tetley.
28 June 2020
“BSAC’s network of clubs has been patient, understanding and accepting the initial need to close pools. However, it is becoming harder to continue to accept the pool closures, while close-proximity activities can reopen.”
Divers are being encouraged to write to their MPs using a template letter produced by Swim England, and to sign its petition calling for an urgent review of the decision to delay reopening, and for a firm date to be set.