Hosting an International Event is a challenging enterprise even in normal times but planning and running the Manchester International Swimming Meet in the current Covid-19 Pandemic has required the combined expertise of the City of Manchester Aquatics Swim Team (COMAST), Manchester City Council and British Swimming.
The significance of this meet cannot be overstated as for some it may be the only meet before the Olympic Trials. Elite swimmers have been granted consent to train during the current lockdown conditions, subject to stringent conditions. The ability to continue training is great for these exceptional athletes but they still need the opportunity to compete and hone their skills.
Cheshire Swimming and Water Polo Association Volunteers
The Manchester International Swimming Meet proved to be hugely successful thanks to the commitment of everyone involved. Cheshire County can be proud of it’s contribution to the success of the meet, Swimming Clubs affiliated to Cheshire County provided no fewer than 19 of the 28 strong technical officials team as well as the meet’s technical directors. It was the first time that any of these officials had worn their whites since early March last year.
An important benefit of this meet to the wider swimming community is that it provides a basis to identify best practice for running an event in these Covid times.
Addressing the Covid-19 Challenges
The covid planning for the meet culminated in the formation of an event bubble containing the Athletes, Event Organisers and Officials. Everyone involved had a Covid test on arrival, a negative result was required before they could enter the bubble and temperature checks were performed on everyone before they left the accommodation for each session. The whole event bubble stayed within the confines of the Aquatics Centre and the accommodation at all times.
Hopefully, the knowledge and experience gained at this event will contribute to speeding up the process of a return to swimming generally.
The live-streamed event can be viewed here with results on the COMAST Website