British Swimming Calls A Halt To Summer Season 2020 In Coronavirus Crisis

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The summer swim season that was over before it began

British Swimming has cancelled the 2020 summer swim season, the summer national championships wiped from the calendar and the London leg of the FINA Diving World Series today joining the list of events blown away in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Selection policies are under review, pending new dates for the European Championship, senior and junior, and other events already posted.

The news follows the imposition of lockdown measures in Britain announced last weekend and the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games yesterday.

In a statement, British Swimming CEO Jack Buckner said:

“Following on from the Tokyo 2020 postponement yesterday, we have been left with no alternative but to cancel the British Summer Championships and the FINA Diving World Series. Whilst we have no clarity around when social distancing measures will be lifted, or when athletes and coaches will be able to return to what they do best, we feel this is the only appropriate course of action.

“Everyone at British Swimming and the Home Nations knows that this will come as a huge disappointment to all involved, but ultimately the health of the global population must come first. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.”

The British Swimming Statement in full: 

In light of the latest government advice on COVID-19 and after a week of constant dialogue with our national and international partners and stakeholders, British Swimming has a trio of updates for the aquatics community.

FINA Diving World Series

After further consultation with FINA and our key partners in London, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel the London leg of the 2020 FINA Diving World Series. Initially postponed, all parties were working towards an alternative date, but this has not been possible given the escalation of COVID-19 worldwide.

If you have purchased a ticket for the FINA Diving World Series we will be in touch shortly, via See Tickets, to confirm refunds.

 2020 British Summer Championships and Home Nation Summer Meets

British Swimming, British Para-Swimming and the Home Nations have been continually reviewing the viability of the 2020 British Summer Championships and Home Nation Summer Meets, as outlined in our update last week.

Following the latest UK Government briefing on Monday (23/03) and having further discussed the impact of the current social distancing requirements, we have decided to cancel all of our end of season domestic Championships.

As you will appreciate the situation is rapidly changing, and with the closure of swimming facilities and related programmes nationwide over the weekend, and the lack of certainty around when opportunities to reopen might come about, this was a unanimous decision. It goes without saying that the health and wellbeing of our swimming community is the priority at this time and as such it is not right to focus on performance swimming. 

Of these decisions, British Swimming CEO Jack Buckner said:

“Following on from the Tokyo 2020 postponement yesterday, we have been left with no alternative but to cancel the British Summer Championships and the FINA Diving World Series. Whilst we have no clarity around when social distancing measures will be lifted, or when athletes and coaches will be able to return to what they do best, we feel this is the only appropriate course of action.

“Everyone at British Swimming and the Home Nations knows that this will come as a huge disappointment to all involved, but ultimately the health of the global population must come first. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.”

 Selection Policies

Naturally the Performance Leadership Group (PLG) is no longer reviewing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic selection policy, with a new selection policy for an Olympic Games in 2021 to be released in due course.

In terms of the 2020 European Championships (pool) selection policy, this remains under review due to the uncertainty surrounding this event. A further advisory on this policy will be published when LEN confirms the dates for this competition.

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