Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, has today launched a public consultation on the development of Ireland’s first National Swimming Strategy.
The Strategy will be based on a vision to “provide everyone in Ireland with an opportunity to swim”. It will seek to take account of all ages and abilities, recognising the participation potential of swimming over the full life course. Strategies for indoor and outdoor swimming will be considered in recognition of swimming as a life skill and physical activity of choice, as well as a sport.
The consultation is in the form of a series of multiple choice questions which takes approximately 10 minutes to complete; it can be accessed at the following link https://www.gov.ie/en/
The closing date is 7 October 2022.
Speaking today, Minister Chambers said:
“Swimming has been identified as the second most popular participation sport behind personal exercise, and the number one sport for women and people with a disability. It is a key life skill and can play an important role in both our physical health and fitness, as well as our mental health and wellbeing.
The health restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years impacted heavily on the swimming sector. The development and implementation of a National Swimming Strategy to provide additional swimming opportunities indoors and outdoors has accordingly been identified amongst the Covid-19 Recovery priorities for sport.
It is critical that we get as diverse a response as possible from the consultation – whether you are an active regular swimmer, a casual swimmer, a holidays only swimmer, or indeed if you don’t swim at all, we would like to hear your views on swimming in Ireland and what should be included in the strategy.
I look forward to reading the responses from a wide range of the Irish public and using the views expressed to guide us in the development of our first National Swimming Strategy”.
National Swimming Strategy
The National Sports Policy 2018 -2027 (NSP) commits to the development of a National Swimming Strategy. Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, published a Sports Action Plan in November 2021 covering the period up to and including 2023. The plan outlines over 40 specific initiatives intended to ensure the sports sector’s continued recovery from the impact of COVID-19, its development over the next three years and the actions required to achieve the target of 60% of the population participating in sport and physical activity.
The development and implementation of a National Swimming Strategy was identified amongst the Covid-19 Recovery priorities under the plan.
The Irish Sports Monitor (2019) identifies swimming as the second most popular participation sport behind personal exercise, and the number one sport for women and people with a disability.
The National Swimming Strategy will be based on a Vision to ‘provide everyone in Ireland with an opportunity to swim’. The Strategy will seek to identify the resources necessary to deliver on this vision and identify the barriers that could potentially impede its delivery. It will also identify targets and mechanisms that can be used to measure the implementation of the strategy and agree quality standards for the swimming industry.
Members of the public are invited to take part in the consultation by completing a short questionnaire at https://www.gov.ie/en/
Submissions can also be emailed to swimmingstrategy@tcagsm.