Swimming Community Encouraged to Continue safe Return to Pools
Swimming Canada is proud that its provincial sections and clubs are succeeding at maintaining a safe environment as pools across the country have reopened.
“So many provinces, clubs, coaches and swimmers have been following the framework of our COVID-19 Return to Swimming Resource Document, and adapting it to their local needs,” said CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “This has allowed Canadian swimmers to be active, stay fit and train. That said, with rising COVID-19 numbers in parts of the country, our swimming community must continue to be vigilant and adjust as needed to mitigate the risks.”
Swimming Canada’s framework was developed by a 16-person Return to Swimming Working Group, focused on a safe return to swimming that adheres to the overarching health, medical and safety considerations. The risk mitigation process was developed from the best available information from medical and scientific experts including the World Health Organization, and in conjunction with the National COVID-19 Return to High Performance Sport Task Force coordinated by Own the Podium. The plan is based on national health and safety regulations and can be adapted to local and regional realities. In many cases, provincial sections have taken many additional steps to adapt to the guidelines from their provincial health authorities as the situation has evolved.
“High Performance Centres, universities and clubs have been able to return safely with the risk mitigation processes we’ve put in place,” said High Performance Director John Atkinson. “It’s been safe and we see it is working. While cases have been increasing in some parts of the country, all involved in swimming need to continue to follow these safeguards to keep the return to swimming safe and positive.”
Version 2 of the Return to Swimming Resource Document was published in July and is available HERE. It includes recommendations for Health Monitoring, Physical Distancing, Equipment Use, Hand and Personal Hygiene. In all cases, swimmers, coaches and other personnel are encouraged to follow local health guidelines such as wearing a mask.
Working closely with the Lifesaving Society, Swimming Canada continues to develop guidelines and expects to publish Version 3 in the coming weeks.
“Swimming is part of a lifestyle that brings so many health and fitness benefits to our communities, and we all want to see swimming continue in a safe way,” El-Awadi said. “We need to learn to live with this and mitigate risk. We all need to be supportive of our communities and chip in to keep our facilities safe, and we are prepared to be flexible and adapt to changing public health restrictions.”