As Swim England hopes to see its pools open in the very near future after having spent the past several months under coronavirus-related lockdown, the organization that governs aquatics within the nation is facing some difficult realities internally.
Swim England has revealed that its workforce will be reduced by around 70 team members in order to address the tough financial position due to the lockdown, but also in order for the outfit to ‘have the right structure to deliver key priorities over the next 12-18 months.”
While the recognized national governing body receives funding from Sport England, it also generates a significant percentage of its own income and the outbreak has had ‘a huge impact on its work and finances’.
Chief Executive Jane Nickerson says, “Whilst we are confident our smaller team will deliver our key objectives, we are sorry that we will have to lose many of our valued team members.
“We have undertaken every step possible to reduce the financial impact of the virus including maximising the number of staff we put on furlough, whilst maintaining a service for our members, our sports and the sector.
“We have continued to communicate with the aquatics community throughout these challenging times by creating engaging content to help upskill our teachers and coaches and help those athletes who were not able to train in the water.
“I have also been proud of what we have achieved with our proactive #OpenOurPools campaign, which shows how we will continue to fight on behalf of our operators, facility owners, swim schools and clubs.
“It is clear, however, that recovery will not be easy. When pools are given the green light to reopen, not all will do so immediately and we anticipate up to 10 per cent may never open. We need to anticipate the realistic longer-term impact that this will undoubtedly have.
“Online and digital engagement will be a key component of our work. We will also lead the fight for the recovery of the aquatics sector – whilst putting the needs of our members front and centre.
“We will engage and support our customers and partners using a single contact point, while ensuring regions, counties, clubs and all the aquatic disciplines continue to receive the provision they need.
“The new structure puts us in the best position for the future. We will be a leaner organisation but focused on key priorities.
“I can assure you that we have given our new structure thorough consideration. We shared a proposal with team members last month and took on board many of the ideas put forward by our team. This consultation has now concluded.
“Today, we have been able to finalise our new structure with employees and the redeployment process starts.
“We will continue to communicate with our members and stakeholders about the organisational changes once the redeployment has been finalised.”
Quotes courtesy of Swim England.