Scotland’s Pools See September 14th As Earliest Open Date

As we reported in late June, Scottish Swimming confirmed that elite athletes to the tune of Duncan Scott, Ross Murdoch, and Aimee Willmott would be able to return to training specifically just at the National Swimming Academy, Stirling by early July.

However, aside from this handful of this world-class tier, the majority of aquatic athletes with the nation of Scotland are set to remain out of the water through at least mid-September.

According to the latest phase rollout revealed by the Scottish government, ‘swimming pools (indoor) can re-open following relevant guidance,’ effective September 14th. However, the document on which this appears notes that this date is indicative only, dependent upon a September 10th conditional review.

In response to a September date for reopening, especially in light of the fact that surrounding nations have been or are slated to reopen within the week, Scottish Swimming posted the following official response:

Following a formal communication sent to the First Minister on the morning of 30th July 2020 from 32 individual Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport (SGB), the SGB CEO Forum welcomes the recognition by the First Minister of the requirement to move forward the re-opening of sports facilities.

As a sector, we are disappointed that the indicative timescale for a return to sport is not sooner.  We have submitted evidence in mitigation of any risk to public health and ask for clarification as to what more compelling information is required to ensure our sports can return to activity and competition within the indicative dates given.

However, we will work with the Scottish Government and sportscotland to understand the level of evidence we need to provide so all requirements for indoor sport to safely return in late August can be met. As ever, we will react positively to any encouragement from Scottish Government to review the dates.

We are especially concerned for those SGBs which only have the small 2020 summer window to restart their sport and competitions.  Without access to facilities – both indoor and outdoor, wet and dry – our member Clubs cannot function and cannot contribute effectively to the recovery that the whole of Scotland so desperately wants and needs.

As we are all aware the reality is that ‘sport-in-Scotland’ is more than just ‘sport’. This has been clearly demonstrated through the national focus on maintaining daily physical activity throughout lockdown and effectively contributes to the social fabric of our local communities as a whole through (although not exclusively):

  • The health and wellbeing of the Scottish Nation;
  • Equality and inclusion;Contributing to effective learners;
  • Mental health and wellbeing;Tackling obesity;
  • Social inclusion and
  • Women and Girls in Sport

With confirmation that other public spaces and venues in Scotland are now reopening and in recognition of the immense challenges facing the restart of the Scottish sporting sector, the SGB CEO Forum wish to work quickly with Scottish Government, sportscotland and facility operators to establish a clear strategy to resume sport, for our members, clubs and communities.

SCOTTISH SWIMMING fully supports the collective drive of Scottish Governing Bodies to reopen as many sport facilities in Scotland as quickly and safely as possible and continue to press for the reasons why there remain concerns around swimming pools.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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