Sheffield swimming chiefs back campaign to reopen pools

Swimming pools in Sheffield must be reopened to avoid ‘jeopardising the physical and mental wellbeing’ of a generation of youngsters, it has been claimed.

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 9:18 am
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 9:18 am
Swimming pools in Sheffield have been ordered to remain closed

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas have all been given the go-ahead to open from July 4, in the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown, but swimming pools must remain shut, along with indoor gyms, beauty salons and bowling alleys.

Sheffield Council’s school swimming service has backed a petition calling on the Prime Minister to reverse the decision.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Incredibly disappointing to see swimming neglected by Boris Johnson. That’s why we’re backing Swim England’s Open Our Pools campaign,” it said.

“If pools cannot open from July 4, the Government is jeopardising the physical and mental wellbeing of millions of people, preventing a generation of children learning a life skill – as well as halting the importance of it contributing to curriculum for children and schools.”

Mr Johnson says the Government is working with leaders from the swimming sector and other ‘close proximity’ venues ordered to remain closed ‘to help them to become COVID Secure and reopen as soon as possible’.

Swim England’s chief executive Jane Nickerson has questioned the science behind the decision, which she said came as a surprise.

Writing to sports secretary Oliver Dowden, she said: “If we are following the science on this, please explain to me – and our thousands of members who are desperate to return to the pool – the science behind opening cinemas and pubs but not a carefully controlled, environmentally friendly, chlorine-filled body of water? It does not make any sense at all.”