October 16, 2020

Dear Members,

Firstly, thank you for your patience as we worked to get clarification on several matters following announcements in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland over the past two days. We are also aware that further announcements are likely to follow in the coming days.

We understand that this is a difficult and frustrating time, and we urge you to keep your spirits up and keep going whether we are in the pool or not.

Some key points from the information we have received since Wednesday:

Level 3 Plus

  • Swimming training can continue as outlined in Level 3 of the Swimming and Living with Covid Framework and Time Trials may continue to take place.
  • It is with regret that the Water Polo Division 1 and Division 2 Leagues due to commence next weekend may now not go ahead under Level 3 Plus.
  • All Water Polo session should now be carried out as non-contact (seeking clarification)

Level 4

Please see detailed note at the end of this document.

  • Swimming Pools closed
  • We are seeking clarification from Sport Ireland for members from Level 4 who travel to a Level 3 county for education purposes and whether they can also attend training whilst there.

Northern Ireland

Please see detailed note at the end of this document.

  • Majority of pools remain open
  • Individual swimming that is booked directly with the provider is permitted under the new regulations
    • Swim Ireland / Ulster have made representation to the NI Executive to allow Clubs to return to Coach led Club activities under Swim Ireland protocols.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our clubs for their hard work and perseverance during this time; you have really stepped up and shown great adaptability and resilience.

To all those clubs that have worked hard to affiliate your club we are very grateful for your time and support for our organisation. To those that received the 10% discount we hope that provides a little bit more support for your club.

And for Clubs that are still working through the affiliation requirements, we are happy to announce we will now apply a 5% discount for those that meet affiliation requirements and pay online by 31st October 2020.

As a club your Swim Ireland affiliation fee helps us maintain the high level of support and offerings that we provide to the aquatics community. We are very grateful to those of you who have completed affiliation and we urge those of you who have yet to do so, to please affiliate asap. Your club and Swim Ireland need your support now. We do believe that whilst there will be peaks and troughs, in the main our sport will continue for this season, so even if you are not in the water now or may be out again for a period of time, the water continues to wait and be ready for you and Swim Ireland are here to support you throughout.

We’d also ask you to please continue to support your athletes as best as you can, and to let you know that we are currently working on a new support programme for all affiliated clubs (athletes, coaches, and committees) and will be launching this in the coming weeks. We are also hopeful that we’ll receive some positive news from Sport Ireland regarding our club resilience grant application in the coming weeks and will update all affiliated clubs accordingly. If you need any help do not hesitate to contact our team in Swim Ireland.

Finally, in the instance that additional measures are put in place as we go forward, we will update you as soon as is possible.

Many, many things have changed this year, but what remains the same is the power and camaraderie of our clubs and members, and their collective joy in the water. Please continue to support your sport, your Club and Swim Ireland now and as we continue forwards in this highly unusual season.

Swim Ireland Team

Key Points for: Republic of Ireland Level 4 and Northern Ireland

'Living & Swimming with COVID-19' Level 4 - Republic of Ireland

Performance Swimming – Key points:

· Training – training may continue for the following groups of athletes; in a Performance Hub (National Centre (Dublin or National Centre (Limerick)) only:

· National Centre Performance Squads (Tier 1)

· National Centre Performance Pathway Squads (Tier 2)

· National Squad Athletes

· 2021 Olympic/Paralympic Long List Athletes

· Performance athletes, staff, coaches, and practitioners may travel to train

· Competition may still take place with protective measures in place

Club Activities (All disciplines) - Key points:

· Facilities are closed therefore no indoor pool/land-based training can take place

· Competitions cannot take place

· Outdoor swimming can still take place, subject to social distance requirements and permitted group sizes; however extreme care should be taken as the water is much cooler now than it was earlier in the year

Domestic Travel

We are seeking clarification from Sport Ireland for members from a Level 4 county who train in a Level 3 county. This will only apply to members who are in Level 3 for essential work or educational purposes already.

Swimming Lessons

· Facilities are closed therefore no lessons can take place

Education

  • Online learning to continue
  • Practical sessions cannot take place

'Living & Swimming with COVID-19' Increased restrictions 4 weeks 16 Oct 2020 6pm – Northern Ireland

  • The majority of swimming pools will remain open in the 11 council areas.
  • All Club sessions (Swimming and Water Polo) are not currently permitted under the current restrictions, local providers have been cancelling sessions from Friday 16th October (6pm) for a period of four weeks.
  • Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have unfortunately taken the decision to close their Leisure facilities.
  • Individual swimming that is booked directly with the provider is permitted under the new regulations
    • Swim Ireland / Ulster have made representation to the NI Executive to allow Clubs to return to Coach led Club activities under Swim Ireland protocols.
  • 1 to 1 Coaching / Teaching is permitted under the heightened restrictions.
  • Athletes who are deemed “Elite” under the Sport NI description of “Elite Athlete” are permitted to continue with coach led training within their own pool. Letters of dispensation have been circulated to all clubs who have athletes who are within this category.