KZN Aquatics Update - from the President's Desk

 

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 : 

  1. Getting a better understanding of the economic impact of Covid-19 on our stakeholders
  2. Meeting with government to make a case for sport
  3. Facilitating free education and training to keep our members motivated
  4. Preparing flexible seasonal plans based on the changing scenario.
  5. Preparing budgets for the new season that would accommodate our members changing circumstances whilst keeping our organisation afloat.
  6. Preparing a motivation to Government to allow for earlier opening of coaching and teaching swimming.
  7. Raising funds for our coaches and swim teachers who will be impacted by Covid

In terms 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 moment. 

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 media.

Your continued support is greatly appreciated and please remember to support the #SaveKZNCoaches Fund! Follow this link to make a donation.
www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/kznaquaticscovoidsupport

 

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Kwazulu Natal Aquatics
Kings Park Swimming Pool
4091 Durban
South Africa

content@kznaquatics.co.za