KZNA Bulletin 22/05/2020 Update on Safe Return to Swimming (#RTS) for Clubs, Swim Schools and Members
We generally issue updates from the KZNA Executive Committee via the President's monthly newsletter, however in the current fast changing environment, the Communications Team has requested more frequent updates and we have thus twisted the KZNA President's arm for him to put pen to paper and he kindly obliged by providing the following update of the work being done by all the boards and sub-committees this last week.
Meeting with KZNA Coaches
On Monday, the 18th May, KZN Aquatics met with all the coaches in the province and briefed them on the background work being undertaken by Swimming South Africa, KZNA and Provincial Government. The primary concern from many members is the lack of access to information on the latest developments in returning to the water. Our coaches and clubs have also appealed for a discounted registration fee for the year, as well as a payment plan which would allow for splitting the registration fee over 3 payments. A sub-committee of coaches has volunteered to come up with a workable solution that would ensure that we get registered with Swimming Africa and KZN Aquatics as soon as possible. A separate letter to all members will be issued in the next few days on the final payment plans approved by KZN Aquatics.
The KZNA Executive also addressed the coaches on the challenges we would face if our registrations were delayed. The primary challenge would be cash flow as the federation is faced with fixed overhead costs which include salaries, office rental, telephone and network connections. The KZNA Executive has also applied its mind on strategies to reduce our overhead costs and have already applied for assistance from UIF for our employees as well as for some contract swim instructors who were employed on an eThekwini contract. At this stage we have not had an update from the UIF. In light of the aforementioned challenges, KZNA would also have to look at the possibility of placing staff on short time, reduced salaries or lastly retrenchment which is not what we want see.
Updated Communications Plan
At the meeting with the coaches, an update was provided on the KZNA Communications Plan as well as the new format for the Bi-weekly Content Schedule. This will also include the launch of online webinars, and a continuation of our fundraising auctions.
We are also planning a similar Zoom Q&A session with our Swim Teachers and Coaches in KZN where we can provide a live update on the latest developments around Return to Swim progress. We are also in regular discussions with the other provincial swim teachers and coaches groups, sharing knowledge, ideas and on-line learning. .
SASCOC War Room Update Last week SASCOC provided a media release on work being undertaken by the Sports Covid War Room – a copy of that communication can be found here :
The War Room has been very active preparing proposals to government on behalf of all sports stakeholders. All federations are working very hard behind the scenes to convince government to unlock sport in a controlled environment while minimising risks of transmission to our members. We promise that we will inform all our members and stakeholders of any new developments and we want to urge you to avoid fake news reports to the contrary. Aquatics is represented in the War Room and we are encouraging all stakeholders to make proposals via their district offices to KZNA for co-ordination and to prevent duplication. All proposals will be tabled with Swimming South Africa to ensure they reach the SASCOC War Room.
In terms of local competitions, a Coaches Sub-Committee headed by Wayne Riddin and Rodney Du Toit is reviewing the draft calendar from SSA and is preparing a KZNA calendar that will fall in line with the national one. Wayne is also resuscitating the KZN Coaches association to bring as many of the coaches together on a common communication platform.
We have been in touch with our peers in the UK and Australia who have agreed to share their guidelines for returning to swimming with us. We are monitoring the #ReturnToSwim in other countries and will incorporate all learnings from them. We do recognise that the majority of our stakeholders are not the elite competitors and that all guidelines will have to be sensitive to this factor.
Our Communications Team has also started a Coaches Corner and Club Focus on our social media channels and you will be getting updates soon via Pamela and Yolandi.
Online Training / Webinars
We are continuing with online training and KZNA and SSA hosted two national workshops in the last week that attracted over 250 participants on each day. Our thanks go out to Zandile from the KZNA Office, Mbali at the SSA Offices and Thaanya from Western Cape who were aptly led by Eileen Xhakaza, the SSA E&T Manager in putting on an excellent programme for our members.
Professor Rajen Naidoo will also be taking some time out of his busy schedule to speak to coaches and swim teachers about risk management and mitigation when you return to your pool. We are planning to deliver this session next week Wednesday (27/5/2020) and the session will include :
Principles to consider when “returning-to-swim” (RTS) - Professor Rajen Naidoo
Facilities preparation in RTS - Wayne Riddin
Management and screening of athletes and other personnel on the pooldeck - Professor Rajen Naidoo
Appropriate training programmes under the constraints of specific levels
Seals in Pietermaritzburg have started preparing their pool to get it ready for short course competitions as soon as we get the nod from government. They have already installed a walk through disinfection booth and brought in equipment and PPE to minimise risks. Wayne Riddin will be sharing updates as the process continues.
eThekwini Municipality has started cleaning up Kings Park Pool and the pool pumps and filtration systems were started up on 22nd May. Our appreciation goes out to Norman and the team at Kings Park Complex.
Save KZN Coaches Fund
We have received approximately 140 applications for financial assistance from our swim teachers and coaches and the fund raising committee is reviewing the applications and will be making the first payments next week. The #SaveKZNCoaches Fundraising Campaign comes to an end in the first week of June and we will then launch the generic KZNA Fund Auctions as well as District and Club campaigns as a means of revenue generation.
KZNDSR Covid-19 Relief Fund
We want to take this opportunity to remind clubs, swim schools, coaches and districts to submit applications to KZNDSR from their relief fund. KZNA Aquatics will be assisting all applicants with letters of support verifying their bona-fides. How to apply:
1. Application forms are available from the KZN Sport Confederation, sport federations or recreation structures as well as KZN Department of Sport and Recreation District Offices. 2. Or download and print manual application forms from the Department website, www.kzndsr.gov.za. 3. Email completed application forms together with requisite documents to: firstname.lastname@example.org or drop them off at Department’s District offices or through sport federations and recreation bodies. 4. Applicants can also complete the electronic application form through the KZNDSR website. Submission deadline : 29 May 2020
In closing, I would like to reinforce what we discussed at the Coaches Meeting, i.e. that we must keep all communication channels open and direct these through the club and district structures.We will respond. . We have over 800 registered volunteers in KZN Aquatics, who all give their time and in many cases money as well, even though many of them do not have any children in the sport. On behalf of the volunteers, I freely admit that we are not perfect and will make mistakes or make the wrong choices at times.
When you see any shortcomings, rather than just criticising, please feel free to come up with constructive criticism in the form of a recommendation that can be used to address the short-coming or improve the situation.
It is also important to apply your mind carefully when making constructive criticism to ensure that you don’t attack the person and rather address an issue.
On the contrary we do not want to discourage criticism as good leaders should be open to it as so appropriately phrased by this quote from Doris Goodwin: “Good Leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation.”
Once again I want to thank all the volunteers who continue to give their time to our sport without any expectations in return, other than a thank you once or twice a year. We as KZN Aquatics are very committed to ensuring that all Aquatics activities, including Learn To Swim, Club Swimming, Diving, Artistic Swimming, Water Polo and Open Water Swimming #ReturnToSwim#RTSas soon as possible!
Keep safe, healthy and Covid free,
Peter Thompson On behalf of KZNA Executive & Council
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