Somerset ASA MC Meeting 4 Apr 2020, Guidance and Support

Fiona Bowen, Somerset ASA Secretary, has sent the following information and guidance to Secretaries of our affiliated Clubs:

I do hope that you, your family and loved ones are all keeping safe and well.

Somerset ASA Management Committee Meeting 4 Apr 2020

Somerset ASA Management Committee met virtually on 4 Apr 2020.  The Minutes will be available on our website (here), but these are some of the highlights from the meeting.

There was praise for all our clubs and their members for how you have reacted to this crisis.  You have pulled together and it has been inspiring to see how many of you are keeping in touch with your members, keeping them motivated and supporting them.  It is a difficult time for everyone with the situation being totally unprecedented and we want to support you as best we can.  Everyone is dealing with a situation never experienced before and we need to be patient as guidelines are drawn and advice given.

Somerset ASA AGM

Our AGM which was planned for 16 May 2020 has been postponed until a provisional date of 19 September.  To hold a virtual AGM could provide too many issues around ensuring those who wish to attend could, and around voting.  We made the decision to postpone, hoping that by September we will be able to hold the AGM as normal, but it also gives us time to put systems in place should this not be possible.

Online Forum Acitivity

The Region recently held a trial meeting for Club Chairs and this was very successful.  They now have planned further meetings for both Coaches and Chairs.  I will forward an email giving you the details of the Coaches Forums -   The Chairs forum details are included in the Regional newsletter sent to all Clubs -  

Members of Somerset ASA MC attended the first forum and found it very useful to be able to chat to others and see how they are coping and the solutions they’ve come up with.  It’s also a rare opportunity for coaches and chairs to get together in this way.

Swim England have a FAQs page

This is constantly being updated and we recommend that you visit it regularly - 
Swim England FAQs -

This section of their website also includes information on financial support through Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund.  This is to provide support to clubs who are experiencing financial difficulties, perhaps because you are still having to pay pool hire.  We would recommend that if you have reason to claim, you do this as soon as possible.

Sport England Community Emergency Fund -

Stronger Affiliation Process

This is still ongoing with the deadline to submit for those clubs not SwimMark accredited by 1 December 2020.  The Region have set a deadline of 16 November to be able to check submissions before the final deadline.  Obviously you can submit before this is you are ready!  It is VITAL that all clubs do this as the penalty will be suspension and at the moment there are no plans to extend the deadline.

View full guidelines here - 

Two main issues are Club Constitutions and Safeguarding.

Club Constitutions

They MUST be approved prior to submission.  These do need to be agreed by your membership and if this could be an issue, then let us know.  Please submit your constitutions to Mark Wells, our Constitutions Officer, who will check it before passing to the Region for final approval.  

The Constitution MUST be based on the Swim England 2018 Model Constitution

We cannot emphasise the importance of this enough.  Please look at this now.  In a few weeks time you may need to focus on getting your clubs back in the water and you won’t have time to look at it then.  For advice or to submit your Constitution please contact Mark (


For the Stronger Affiliation Process all the information on the Teacher / Coach register must be completed and this includes Safeguarding Certificates.  

Those who have done a full Safeguarding Course can renew online -  

The full Safeguarding Courses have been replaced by UK Coaching with a virtual classroom style course.  

The Region has organised some dates for these -

More are planned so please keep an eye on emails and the various websites (Somerset, Swim England South West and Swim England).  

The courses being run by the Region are free of charge, but if you do incur any costs, for example for the renewal course, then please send evidence of payment to Fiona Bowen and Somerset ASA will reimburse your costs.

County Pathway Development Camps

Under the guidance of Swim England who have cancelled all Development / Talent events until September, we will not be running the first two camps.

The first camp will now be in October.  We are just finalising the selection of swimmers to be invited and an announcement in this regard will be made as soon as possible.

Open Water Swimming

Whilst some venues are obviously open and accessible, Open Water Swimming IS NOT an activity currently permitted by Public Health England.  Please do not participate in any open water swimming even if you can walk to the venue.


All events are cancelled up to 1 September and we await further guidelines on future events as things develop.


We are here to support you and if you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to contact us.  

A list of all our officers and their contact details are on our website -  

As always, John our Press and Information Officer, is doing a brilliant job in making sure that our website is constantly updated with the latest information and support.  It should be your first port of call for any info.

On a positive note, we would love to hear from you on how you are overcoming obstacles at the moment, how you are keeping in contact and motivational stories.  

The Regional Volunteer of the Month criteria has been changed (see their newsletter) to include volunteers who have been innovative in ways to keep members of their clubs engaged and in touch.  We’d love to see these people recognised so do get those nominations into the Region.

My apologies for the long email, but I hope that the above information contained will be of use.  Make sure you don’t miss anything!!

Finally, please stay safe, stay home and follow those guidelines.  We look forward to seeing you all back in the pool but until then we will try and support you as best we can.


Fiona Bowen
Somerset ASA Secretary 
Tel 01275 877412
Mob 07970 736225

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