Dear swimming club administrators,
I hope you are well.
Whilst this is a national communication to you about a safe return to swimming activity across Australia, I acknowledge at the outset that each state/territory is going to have different timings and paths back to swimming and encourage you to always first be guided by the communications from your State/Territory Swimming Association in regard to its, and your, specific circumstances.
In my update to the swimming community Monday 4 May we provided a link to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment documentation. This was referenced in last Friday’s National Cabinet release of the 3-Step Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia.
The AIS Framework covers activities for both ‘Community and Individual Sport’ and ‘High Performance / Professional Sport’. There has recently been updates to this document, including for swimming’s specifics within its Level B, and the latest version can be found here.
This Framework is a national guide for the reintroduction of sport and recreation in Australia and is still subject to the relevant policies and regulations of each individual State/Territory government and public health authorities.
To specifically address swimming, together with our member organisations and as a collective leadership team across Australia, we have been working on a plan to assist clubs and their coaches to safely return to swimming activity. Following this work we have created the Swimming Australia – National Guidelines for Restarting Club Environments. We encourage all clubs to familiarise themselves with the content which has the collective sign-off of all State/Territory Swimming Associations and the Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA). These National Guidelines will be revisited, updated and improved as appropriate.
These are guidelines to assist the planning of clubs and their coaches for restarting Club environments and we advise all clubs to consult with local authorities and their State/Territory Swimming Associations, to ensure they are abiding by regulations pertinent to that State or Territory. For clarity, Swimming Australia does not have any jurisdiction over, or responsibility for, the learn to swim industry, swims school and teachers. However, within these National Guidelines, we have endeavoured to point towards the latest relevant documentation of others and will continue to do so as and when such is developed or updated by relevant umbrella bodies.
Rebooting both elite and community sport from a global pandemic is an unknown and untrodden path for all governments, and sporting authorities and bodies, at all levels. Now that these National Guidelines for swimming have been finalised and released, your State/Territory Swimming Association will be working closely with the leaders of your clubs to communicate and roll out the detail, and facilitate any education and support processes, webinars or question & answer opportunities specific to your state’s circumstances.
We hope that this planning and information is useful and, as always, we thank you all for your contributions to making Australian swimming what it is.
Please stay safe as we commence these next steps of each of our journeys back into the water.
Leigh Russell, CEO