Officials Represent the South West at The British Para-Swimming International meet

Over the weekend of 8-11 April 2021,this meet was held at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield. The event incorporated the opening event of the World Para Swimming World Series and Britain's Paralympic trial meet. 

Sue Gabriel a qualified Referee from North Cornwall Dragons Swimming Club reports: 

On being selected to go to the BPSIM at Sheffield Ponds Forge I was initially a little cautious to how things would go with COVID precautions, I had probably the same fears that most of us have had about going back to poolside for the first time in over 12 months.

I must say that everything had a very positive vibe and all the precautions were adhered to, from the lateral test done 72 hrs prior to arrival at the event and the same again on arrival.

We had already joined a webinar where we were guided as to the one way system that would be used around the poolside, changing rooms etc so felt comfortable when going onto the deck.

On arrival at Sheffield and following another test we booked into our hotels and went straight to our rooms which was where we would have to be anytime we were not at meals or the pool, breakfast was collected and had to be eaten in your room, no one else was allowed into your room at anytime, lunch and dinner was at individual tables socially distanced. Temperature was taken every time we left to go to the pool and a sticker given attached to your accreditation, if this was not complied with you were not allowed to enter the venue.

On poolside everything was a little different to normal having to make sure that we all remained socially distanced and especially around the athletes as they are quite vulnerable. Sanitising of blocks, athletes chairs etc between each race was done routinely.

During finals there was none of the usual razzmatazz and there were no awards distributed, as officials the set up was different to previous times I have attended and we stayed in our usual positions  around the pool etc instead of each corner of the pool (maintaining our social distances).social distancing was conformed to during March on and off poolside, masks were worn at all times in the venue and in the hotel unless eating or in your own room.

The number of swimmers during this event has been lower than previous and of course there were no spectators so all seemed very quiet compared to pre-COVID events, we were very lucky to have the international element here with us.

All in all I would say I have had a positive experience here in Sheffield and can now see that with planning, communication and commitment we may be able to see our way back onto deck without too much trepidation. Although bringing this approach down to club level may be quite difficult to do.

Posted by Swim England South West on May 25th 2021

Loading... Updating page...