June 09, 2021

Swim Ireland and Ireland Active today launch their joint Jump Back In campaign to help give people in Ireland the confidence to return to swimming pools and gyms as they begin to reopen this week.

Pre- pandemic research showed that personal exercise and swimming consistently feature among the top three most popular activities for adults in Ireland. When health has never been higher on people’s priority, swimming and personal exercise provide a safe way to keep fit and healthy.

Led by expert guidance from Swim Ireland and Ireland Active, staff and facilities have made huge efforts to ensure they have been operating to the highest standards of public health, and a report by HIQA in November 2020 showed that only 0.9% of total reported cases in Ireland at the time came from sports settings, including gyms and fitness facilities.

It is also widely-accepted, including by the HSE and NHS, that COVID-19 cannot survive in chlorinated pool water, making swimming in a swimming pool among the safest activities to take part in.

However, despite these facts, we recognise that the long closure of gyms and swimming pools, alongside the long lockdown, has made people cautious about returning to busy indoor settings like leisure centres.

Sarah Keane, CEO of Swim Ireland, said: “As the National Governing Body of swimming for the island of Ireland, we couldn’t be more excited for pools to reopen and for swimmers, young and old, to get back in and begin to rekindle their love of the water once more.

“Whether you are learning to swim, swimming for your health and well-being, or swimming to compete, we are with you.

“However, we recognise that your usual experience may differ with COVID-19 protocols in place, from changing requirements to pool timetables and session amendments, but we want to assure you that our pools are safe and ready for you to jump back in."

She added: “Through Jump Back In, we really want all pool users to know that Swim Ireland is here to support you on your journey to jump back in and Getting Ireland Swimming again.”

Karl Dunne, CEO Ireland Active, the Leisure, Health & Fitness Association of Ireland, said: “It has been an incredibly challenging time for our sector and the last 6 months have been particularly hard for our members. They have shown tremendous courage and resilience having to make tough operational decisions while facing no membership income during this period of lockdown.

“We are pleased to see our members gyms, pools and leisure centres reopen their doors, which will come as a long-awaited relief to these businesses and the communities they proudly serve.

"These facilities are essential for the health and wellbeing of so many communities and can now begin again to support the physical, wellbeing and social recovery of the nation. Our members cannot wait to welcome everyone back."

What do you need to know before returning to your local facility?

Swim Ireland and Ireland Active has worked alongside industry experts to ensure we can provide pools and gyms across Ireland with the best guidance and recommendations to allow you to return to swimming and working out safely.

A series of four frameworks has been produced for the Aquatic Industry, supporting Facilities and Operators, Swimming Pool Users and Swimming Lesson Providers, in both the public and private sectors to map out a Return to Water. 

With the safety of all pool users at the forefront of our mind we have created a Return to Water Framework for Pool Users, which highlights the continued requirements for safe social distancing and enhanced hygiene regimes, along with guidance as to how this will impact on the different experiences you as a pool user will have. The guide includes details on;

  • booking your swim
  • what to do before leaving home
  • what to do on arrival at the pool and
  • in the water itself

A framework for Safe Operation of Leisure, Health and Fitness Facilities is also in place to guide operators and their teams as they reopen. Ireland Active members have also undertaken extensive staff training and expenditure to ensure facilities are safe for the public to visit.

We would also recommend contacting your local pool and gym for further information about facility specific requirement prior to arriving at the facility.

Swim Ireland and Ireland Active fully support the leisure, health and fitness industry with getting Ireland swimming and working out again. #JumpBackIn.

Project Background

As part of the 'Sport Resilience Fund', Ireland Active was provided funding for an industry-wide marketing campaign to help in the promotion of personal exercise and swimming in partnership with Swim Ireland.

We would like to thank Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, Junior Minister for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD and CEO of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, and his staff for their confidence in the sector to deliver on objectives set out in the National Sports Policy.

Head to Jump Back In below to see our full guide to returning to pools this month.

JUMP BACK IN

If you can swim a little, Swim For A Mile Challenge can help you swim in a mile! To celebrate the reopening of pools, we have launched the SFAM Individual Challenge, to give you something to work towards as you jump back in to your happy place!

Swim For A Mile Challenge

Looking for swimming lessons? Or want to know more about learning to swim? Head to the link below to find our list of accredited swim schools, who are now able to open for business again!

Swim Schools