The 2020 Irish National Winter Championships are set to take place from December 17th-20th. However, due to new coronavirus-related restrictions within the nation, the number of participants at the elite meet has been drastically reduced.
The government mandate released this week states that no matches or other sporting events can take place, with only an exception made for ‘elite’ sports.
As such, as Swim Ireland put it, “it is clear that for a large proportion of our athletes, who entered the Irish Winter SC Meet and were looking forward to racing with their swimming friends, this will no longer be possible for them.”
Per Swim Ireland, “For those athletes that we are able to deem as ‘elite’ (where we would use the terminology ‘Performance’), we will follow the definition which features in our ‘Living and Swimming with COVID-19 Framework‘ at Level 3.”
Athletes eligible to compete under these strict rules will be contacted by Swim Ireland, while anyone not contacted will no longer be able to complete.
“This is a blow for us all. It’s not the first and between now and society dealing with this virus once and for all, it is unlikely to be the last.
We know that so many of you were looking forward to this, having not formally raced for so long and to have this taken away from us at the eleventh hour makes it all the more difficult. But we’ve been here before and it’s not defeated us.
This is a temporary problem and in the grand scheme of things, with so much to look forward to in the new year when vaccines are readily available, it is something that we can and will deal with.
We are so proud of our aquatics community. We have stood together (or at least two metres apart when we have been able to see one another at times) and the resolve and resilience displayed by you with training on, training off, competitions on, competitions off, time trials on, time trials off…will be something that we in Swim Ireland will certainly never forget,” stated Swim Ireland.