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Swimming bodies applaud NSW Government’s early indoor pool opening change

Swimming bodies applaud NSW Government’s early indoor pool opening change
October 8, 2021

The NSW Government’s decision to fast-track the reopening of indoor pools for an increased range of activities from Monday 11th October has been applauded by the swimming and learn to swim bodies as a life-saving decision.

Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA), Swimming NSW, Swimming Australia and Swim Australia together with other aquatic industry organisations have pushed hard for an earlier re-opening based on a number of factors.

Announced yesterday, changes to NSW’s roadmap out of lockdown will see indoor pools opened for squad training, lap swimming and rehabilitation activities (as well as swimming lessons as announced earlier in the week) as of Monday 11th October rather than 1st Dcember. It will also mean that indoor pools in regional NSW that are currently open will not need to close.

Advising that the re-opening could ultimately save lives as swimming lessons would recommence in time for some skill acquisition before the summer holidays, ASCTA Chief Executive, Brendon Ward, stated “we know the NSW Government has been concerned about community health and wellbeing associated with the spread of COVID.

“They have also been aware of the impact restrictions have had on the mental and physical health and social cohesion of communities with indoor pools being closed.

“We recently conducted community research, which revealed over 84.5% of Australians believe learning to swim should be considered an essential service. This is further supported by 47.3% of parents believing children’s swim safety should be a priority throughout the pandemic. Families want this service available to them and community safety and wellbeing are our primary concern.” *

Ward noted the aquatic industry delivered $9 billion in economic and social benefits to the nation and employed 67,000 people**, stating “the industry has been reeling, and the early re-opening of indoor pools will be welcomed by the whole industry and by the community at large.

Swimming NSW Chief Executive, Mark Heathcote also welcomed the changes, adding “this announcement gives the aquatic industry a much clearer re- opening plan and means all of the swimming community can get back in the pool.

“We can now look forward to a great summer of swimming.”

*1000 sample online research conducted in September by Pure Profile on behalf of Swim Australia/ASCTA
**Royal Life Saving Society - Australia Drowning Report 2021 

Image: Lap swimming at Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre, Auburn.

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3rd September 2021 - Swimming Australia Board pledges to work towards National Integrity Framework

23rd August 2021 - Royal Life Saving provides guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations and aquatic facilities

10th August 2021 - Aquatic industry delivers $9 billion in economic, health and social benefits to Australia

9th August 2021 - Y NSW calls on NSW Government to support the survival of community sport, aquatics and recreation sector

7th July 2021 - With swim schools facing permanent closure industry leader calls for learn-to-swim services to be classed as an essential service

28th May 2021 - Dean Boxall named Australian Age and Youth Coach of the Year at ASCTA Awards

3rd May 2021 - Aquatic Recreation Network Australia launched to support states and provide national advocacy opportunities

14th May 2020 - National Aquatic Industry Safety Committee endorses new risk management guidelines for swim schools and aquatic facilities

29th April 2020 - ASCTA advocacy highlights the value of swim coaching and teaching

24th March 2020 - ASCTA/Swim Australia release Coronavirus guidance for swim schools


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