Swim England Gather 45,000 Signatures As They Campaign For Pools To Reopen

Photo Courtesy: pixabay.com

Swim England will present a petition to the government next week with almost 45,000 signatures calling for swimming pools to reopen as chief executive Jane Nickerson reflected on the campaign over recent days that has encompassed Olympic champions and grassroots.

There had been some real optimism that pools would be able to reopen in England from 4 July only for hopes to be dashed although Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the green light though for pubs, restaurants, hair salons, cinemas and museums to open for business once again from next Saturday.

That prompted a furious backlash with the likes of Adam Peaty and Becky Adlington among present and former Olympic and world medallists to back Swim England’s #OpenOur Pools campaign which launched within minutes of the announcement.

Peaty remained vocal, pointing to the repercussions for physical and mental health during an interview with the BBC while also directly addressing the prime minister on social media as he retweeted a post by Chris Hoy, six-time Olympic cycling champion.

As of Saturday morning, the petition was just 5,000 short of 50,000 signatures and it will be presented to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport early next week in the hope that pools can reopen in the near future.

So too did Nickerson pledge to fight for funding to ward off any danger of pool closures in a statement released by Swim England.

Jane Nickerson

Photo Courtesy: Jane Nickerson Twitter

She said:

“Like many people, I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions since the Government said that swimming pools would not be reopening on 4 July.

“Shock, disappointment, frustration, anger and bewilderment were at the forefront of my mind following the announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“How can pubs and cinemas open for business and pools can’t? I’m still struggling to get my head around the logic, especially as our Returning to the Pool guidance – which has been developed in consultation with Public Health England – proves how swimming can be safely done.

“Over the hectic few days that have followed, however, my over-riding feeling has been one of pride.

“I’ve been proud of the way we quickly responded to the news by launching the #OpenOurPools campaign.”

She added:

“Yes, some people have told us they don’t agree with our stance. That’s fine – everyone is entitled to express their opinion and we understand and respect their views.

“However, almost 45,000 have now signed our petition calling on the Government to think again and announce a date when pools can reopen as a matter of urgency.

“We will be presenting the petition to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport early next week so if you haven’t signed it yet, please do so as soon as possible.

“Add the petition to the huge backing we’ve seen from every level of all our disciplines – from past and present Olympians, club athletes to recreational swimmers or those who rely on the water to help manage physical and mental health conditions – and it’s clear what the majority want to see happen.

“To each and every one of you, all I can say is a massive thank you.”

Swim England

Photo Courtesy: Swim England Twitter

To conclude:

“Your support means so much and we’ll continue to keep lobbying the Government. Hopefully, we’ll be back in the water soon enjoying the activities we all love and have missed so much.

“When that happens, we won’t simply sit back and relax.

“We will continue to fight for more financial help from the Government to ensure those facilities at risk of permanent closure get the necessary support they’ll need to stay open.

“Swimming pools are an integral and important part of every community and we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that remains the case across the country.

“In the meantime, stay safe and thanks again – it means so much.”

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