The last few
weeks have taken a great toll on our stakeholders. It has been a
stressful time, for not only our athletes who have not been able
to train and compete, but more so for the coaches and swim
teachers whose economic livelihood is fully dependent on a
sustainable sports economy.
KwaZulu-Natal Aquatics has taken a proactive approach to dealing
with the uncertainty during the lockdown. We have approached the
lock down along seven primary pillars :
Getting a better
understanding of the economic impact of Covid-19 on our
government to make a case for sport
education and training to keep our members motivated
flexible seasonal plans based on the changing scenario.
for the new season that would accommodate our members
changing circumstances whilst keeping our organisation
motivation to Government to allow for earlier opening of
coaching and teaching swimming.
Raising funds for
our coaches and swim teachers who will be impacted by Covid
of the survey that we conducted, 115 members completed the survey
representing clubs, swim schools and coaches. The findings are
that there will be a R8.5 million impact on the industry, threatening
the sustainability of all swim schools and clubs. We prepared a
submission to KZN Sports Confederation and to government
highlighting the impact. They have responded positively,
indicating that they would be tabling the matter with the MEC and
we are hoping for some feedback this week.
There have also been a number of educational workshops targeting
coaches and swim teachers facilitated by Swimming South Africa
and a number of service providers.
KZNA also facilitated two workshops which were well received and
oversubscribed, showing not only the interest from our
stakeholders, but also the quality of the presenters and that the
workshops met the swim teacher’s needs. We made a submission
to Government on the 27th April to motivate for the early opening
of swim teaching and coaching.
Our philosophy in KZNA has been to rely on the professionals in
their respective fields to provide us with the ammunition to make
the right decisions. In terms of Covid, we need to ensure that
the health professionals take the lead in framing the way forward
– keeping in mind that we need a healthy population and customers
to do our jobs!
We are fortunate that we have Professor Rajen Naidoo as one of
our executive members. Professor Naidoo, besides being an ex swimmer
and parent of current swimmers, is an Occupational Health
Specialist, and heads the Occupational Health Department at UKZN.
He is leading one the National Covid Task Teams and I have asked
him to provide us with some guidance in motivating for the early
opening of swim schools and clubs. It is important that we balnce
the risks with potential economic losses to our stakeholders and
Professor Naidoo will be preparing a presentation for a Zoom
webinar for us in the next week. We fully understand and appreciate
the worries and concerns from districts, clubs and swim schools
and we want to assure our members that these concerns are top of
our priorities with everything that we are doing at the
The KZNA Executive met on Thursday 30th April and is preparing
further guidance and direction to clubs, coaches and teachers on
the seasons plans going forward. Our plans will be highly
influenced by developments associated with the unlocking of
education and transport.
Our Executive members and office staff are working from home and
are finalising the current accounts and budget for the new
season. We are cognisant of the economic impact of Covid-19 and
our plans will try and provide some relief to our clubs and
members. It is important we be agile enough in our planning to
ensure that we are in a position to start operations immediately
the risk levels permit.
Swimming South Africa are also hard at work preparing plans for
the revised national and international season. This work is
highly technical and relies on the input from our International
Coaches and Technical Committees as well as the event managers
from each hosting province. The first draft of a propsoed season
is out for discussion at the moment and our coaches have been
asked to provide comment on the technical merits of the plans.
Our coaches/swim teachers fundraising drive is in full swing and
is being spear-headed by Erika Du Plessis, one of our Executive
members, and we must thank her for the time and effort she
is putting into this campaign. Erika is leading a small committee
comprising of Graham Hill, Pamela Bess, Yolandi van der Vyver,
Rodney Du Toit and Peter Thompson. the fundraising kicked
off with setting up a donation campaign on our website. A
number of exciting challenges and raffles are planned for the
coming weeks and we are encouraging you to follow us on social