NEW UPDATE – 05/06/2020 –
Good Afternoon Swimmers, Parents & Friends of Swim School.
This is a long overdue update. I know I have been pretty quiet since the lockdown started, so hopefully this will give you all an idea of what’s happening.
I did my last lesson on March 18th that was the end of swim school as it was. No more lessons, no kids, no fun, no smell of chlorine. I then had a pretty rough time trying to see what support swim school would be eligible for, sadly neither our insurance nor the government have a scheme that works for swim school. Thankfully many of you have been eligible for support, many of you have offered support for swim school and I am grateful for it.
I then had to find out how I would support my family, paying the rent and the bills as I normally would. I have always been able to work, to provide for my family. To be in a position where I would not be able to do this is terrifying. For the first couple of weeks I was not in a great place I was lost without teaching. Then my wife, Nikki, put me onto a job at Waitrose, only 22hrs (plus some overtime) and at minimum wage but it would be a start, something to keep me busy and contribute to supporting my family. So since the beginning of April I have been working at Waitrose Wymondham serving customers on the tills, through the self-checkout, driving the delivery vans and stocking the shelves.
So where does that leave swim school? Well as you all know we are not allowed to use any swimming pool (to do so would be illegal and uninsurable) so no lessons can take place, we are all desperate to start teaching again, as soon as we are allowed to.
Here’s the good news. Last week I was able to start the process of risk assessing and planning for when we can use swimming pools. I have been in contact with Sprowston Manor and Sprowston High School, both are keen for us to get started as soon as possible. We are looking at tight restrictions on lesson frequency and swimmer/staff numbers to ensure we can follow the governments guidance on social distancing and cleaning. To support me in this work I am using the guidance of these organisations.
- The STA – Swimming Teachers Association
- CIMPSA – Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity
- The CDC – Centre for Disease Control
- The WHO – The World Health Organisation
- The Resuscitation Council
- The RLSS – The Royal Life Saving Society
I have nearly completed a comprehensive document that should provide the venue’s we hire with the reassurance that we can meet their standards (and the governments) to be able to operate safely. If one person contracts COVID-19 and has been at a venue, then the entire venue needs to lockdown and clean as well as everyone connected to the venue (Hirer’s, Staff & the Public).
As my contact at the high school has told me “It is a privilege not a right to be able to use a venue.” This is how I am approaching our return to lessons.
With regard to any changes I will aim to keep them to a minimum, however some time and potential day changes will be inevitable for us to be able to keep our class ratios low and offer the lessons we have always done.
My aim is to have things in place to be able to start lessons as soon as we are able too, with. Everyone having the opportunity of a lesson every week.
As I am now in a more positive place, with a potential future for swim school on the table and the real opportunity of seeing you all again I will produce more information on a regular basis.
If you have any questions, please email me and I will respond between work and childcare.
Please still stay safe, just because the restrictions are being lifted does not mean we can jump back to normal; we need to be safe, sensible and keep a second spike at bay.