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Revised BSCA advice to consider as part of any risk assessment process

On 30 Apr 2020, the British Swimming Coaches Association published updated advice on how best to alleviate the potential spread of COVID-19 within swimming programmes and Clubs. It is reproduced below for our Clubs, coaches to consider as part of any risk assessment process they and their facility providers undertake in support of the the health and safety of our members.

As we now consider the impacts of the virus and behaviours to date, as well as a potential return to the pool, we now offer revised guidance and ask members to consider the following, as part of any risk assessment process they and their facility providers undertake.

It is imperative that coaches, Clubs and providers ensure that they are cognisant of any advice, conditions and rules set by their respective governments, public health authorities and National Governing Body:
  • Swimmers to be dropped off & collected outside training facilities, in line with normal child safeguarding protocols. Whilst we would ask parents to remain in their vehicles and at a safe distance, it is likely that sessions may be shorter to begin with so we would ask them to remain, especially in case there should be an emergency and immediate exiting is required. Social distancing would still apply in such circumstances.
  • Prescribed time windows of entry & changing for groups which are rigidly maintained to limit numbers in changing areas – anyone late is refused entry on grounds of safety
  • Whilst any facility's respective NOP & EOP procedures are likely to be amended, we would recommend you review entry & exit methods at facilities, so as to limit contact with other members of the public; e.g. can access be gained directly to pool hall & changing areas using fire exits for periods stated in paragraph 2, rather than standard reception halls – to be agreed with providers
  • Agree with providers numbers to be allowed in respective pool at any one time and any amended movement protocols required around the space
  • Agree with providers numbers to be allowed per lane and consider swimmers starting at opposing ends of the pool, whilst in the same lane.
  • It is our view that the likely areas of spread will be when swimmers congregate together around whiteboards, in changing areas and at pool ends between sets & reps, hence the advice above & below. It is important that this is done in partnership with your pool provider to ensure liability cover is maintained, following a full risk assessment
  • Limit the amount of equipment to be brought into the pool hall at this time and we certainly ask members whether snorkels for example are required
  • All equipment to be taken home after each session, maintained and cleaned at home. No equipment should be left at any facility, if this was previously your normal practice.
  • Consider how best to ensure that water bottles are not shared and are safely positioned & marked, so that this does not happen in error.
  • We recommend swimmers do not share equipment, swim clothing, hats & goggles at this time. Please bring ample extras, in case replacements are required
  • Swimmers to shower at home pre & post sessions & not at training pools
  • Ensure swimmers do not congregate in changing area and use individual cubicles 'individually'
  • Coaches, Swimmers and Parents to not congregate in hallways and corridors outside of the pool hall or reception of facilities
  • Coaches ensure that they maintain appropriate distance from colleagues, staff, swimming members, lifeguards etc and make good use of alternative safe communication means
  • Coaches should amend their use of whiteboards so that swimmers do not congregate around them when information is being imparted about exercises, sets etc.
  • Coaches should consider the use of acetate sheets or other waterproof items with session content upon them. Coaches should ensure that such are cleaned and disposed of effectively after use – do not reuse!
  • Coaches ensure they do not have any physical contact with swimmers
  • Coaches should not share hand held equipment such as stopwatches, clipboards or whiteboard pens, with colleagues or others
  • Parents / guardians do not attend or observe training or swim sessions
  • Programmes consider relaxing the basis of Squad allocation to begin with, so that family members can train together. For social distancing it would be best to bring them all together and even train in the same lane if possible and workable.
  • Any swimmer who has a new cough or a temperature does not train for 14 days
  • Any swimmer who lives with anyone who is ill does not train for 14 days
  • Any swimmer with an underlying health condition does not train / swim
  • Any swimmer with a sibling or parent / grandparent who lives with them, with an underlying health condition should not train.
  • Any swimmer or a family member who lives with them, who is confirmed as having COVID-19, should confidentially advise their club to allow contact tracing to take place
  • Clubs should have accurate attendance records for each session to ensure the above is being adhered to.

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