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News October 2020

Keep up to date with what's happening at Dartes and performance swimming in Doncaster. This page records the news as it happens -- history in the making!

The Stories behind the Headlines

Open Letter to Mayor

20 Oct 2020: Open letter to Mayors of Doncaster (Ros Jones) and Sheffield (Dan Jarvis).

Dear Dan and Ros

In these unprecedented times the decisions we all must make are difficult, challenging and have repercussions we would rather not see but must accept for the greater good.

We write to you as one of these difficult choices is upon us. The move to Tier 3 for South Yorkshire will be part of the current discussions you are having but all we ask is that careful consideration is taken on the repercussions for the young and talented children if the sport they love is taken from them once again.

South Yorkshire has, and continues, to produce some of the most talented national swimmers and Doncaster has, and is, playing its part. The impact of Covid on swimming was immense; no access to the water for many months, the wellbeing and mental health of these young athletes adversely affected and all at a time when education, exams and life in general was thrown up in the air.

We plead with you to consider the impact further leisure centre closures will have on these young athletes. As the majority of the county will see leisure centres remain open under Tier 1 and 2 restrictions, a move to Tier 3 for South Yorkshire will be devastating for our young people who have finally had the chance to return to the pool.

The anguish a further closure will cause on these young people is palpable. To see them lose the sport they love so much is heart-breaking and its effects could be long term. Whilst Dame Sarah Storey is not representing sport in her role at SCR, she does understand first hand the commitment and strength it takes to train at these high levels and the hurt and upset it would cause for the sport you love and adore to be taken away, not just once but for a second time with no known return date.

Jane Nickerson - Swim England Chief Executive – has written to the government to implore for the need to keep leisure centres open. www.swimming.org/swimengland/short-sighted-closing-leisure-centres/.

Research shows the prevalence of coronavirus in swimming pools, leisure centres and gyms is extremely low and they should not be forced to close under the new restrictions taken to tackle the pandemic.

The decision is a local one that will affect hundreds of young people in swimming clubs locally and thousands more using leisure facilities for swimming lessons and other sports unable to access outdoor alternatives.

Our swimmers took to the cold open water at Manvers and Hatfield during the initial lockdown, but this will not be possible for most of them as the temperatures plummet from the warm of the summer months.

A reintroduction of restrictions will cause chaos for the pool operators, businesses and employees with even more pools unlikely to reopen after this second wave of financial impact.

All we can ask is that the merits of positive impacts on mental health, physical health are considered before any decision is made on Tier 3 restrictions. Leisure centres serve the whole community and any closures will be drastic for South Yorkshire.

If the unfortunate closing of venues such as leisure centres and gyms does happen, we would appreciate details of any plans to ensure provision remains available for elite athletes, youth and disabled sport and physical activity in Doncaster.

Jesse Selected for Regional Talent

16 Oct 2020: Back in August we received news of swimmers selected for the older end of the England Talent pathway. Today we were notified of our latest swimmer selected for the Regional step on the ladder (the 2nd rung).

Following on from his selection for County Pathway last season, Jesse Goodwin (Adw) earned his spot at Regional for 2021. Due to current restrictions, most of this camp will be held online, with educational videos and other resources available to him.