Mat Trodden on getting back to the water

on Wednesday, 29 July 2020.

Good to see some swimmers and coaches in Edinburgh today

Mat Trodden on getting back to the water
"Good to see some swimmers and coaches in Edinburgh today, including
Mat Trodden from University of Edinburgh Swim Team, who spoke with us about what the new normal means for swimming.

So with three venues now open we continue to build confidence that more facilities for the wider aquatic community are ready and able to follow"

Kathleen Dawson is one of a select group of athletes who have returned to training at the University of Stirling

on Wednesday, 29 July 2020.

Phased elite return to training in Scotland

Kathleen Dawson rediscovered her love for drawing portraits during lockdown - and now she is back in the pool, the three-time European medallist is beginning to look at what goals she may be able to pencil in for the year ahead.

Dawson is one of a select group of athletes who have returned to training at the University of Stirling, as part of the phased elite return to training in Scotland. 

Just like so many of her compatriots, back in the water after months away during lockdown and the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the 22-year-old has found the experience of reacquainting herself with daily swim sessions anything but normal. Indeed, even powering through length after length alongside her Stirling teammates is not quite what it was just a few months ago. 

Not that that will stop Kathleen from enjoying and appreciating what she is able to do once again, under the guidance of coach Steven Tigg. 

"Being back in the water, I'm definitely very grateful for the efforts from British Swimming, Scottish Swimming and the University of Stirling to allow us to be able to return to the pool and looking after us while we were out of the pool," said the backstroke specialist.

"It was surreal at first. It honestly felt like I was doing the movements but nothing was quite a stroke. Then there would be a moment where it felt like how it used to feel, like it was the ghost of something you used to remember!

"But I don't think it started feeling normal until the last week or so. Even then, my stamina was completely off. I really enjoyed being able to cycle and run during lockdown, but at the same time, there's a reason that I swim. I just love it, it's what I want to do, so I was very happy to be back in. 

"The team up here put together good guidelines on what we should be doing during lockdown, how far you should be going and how intensely you should be going if you're cycling and things like that. I absolutely won't be becoming a triathlete, though!"

Charitable trust appeals for support as doors stay closed

on Wednesday, 29 July 2020.

Fife Sports and Leisure Trust

Fife Sports and Leisure Trust are appealing to customers for support as they wait for the green light to open our doors in line with the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Route Map.

They were hoping to begin our phased re-opening of our leisure centres within weeks, but we are now asking customers to be patient as the enforced closure continues to have a significant impact on our organisation.

They’re backing Community Leisure UK’s – the umbrella organisation which represents non-profiting distributing leisure trusts –  #saveleisure campaign to highlight that nearly half of all public leisure facilities in the UK face permanent closure by the end of the year, unless, local authorities receive urgent ring-fenced funding from the Government to overcome the enormous financial impact of the Covid-19 lockdown period and its legacy.

Emma Walker, chief executive for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “Our teams have been working hard to implement the highest health and safety measures in our centres and we have been regularly communicating with customers so that they can see what steps are in place, how they access facilities and what activities and programmes are possible with social distancing protocols in place.

“We know our customers are keen to get back to our facilities, however, we would like to appeal for patience and support while we deliver our re-opening programme – we operate 14 leisure facilities across Fife and each one is different and some will lend themselves more readily to social distancing measures than others. As a charitable trust, we hope that people will understand the huge impact that the lockdown has had on the organisation and we’d like to assure local communities we are committed to delivering accessible leisure opportunities.

“Our backing of the #saveleisure campaign demonstrates the severity of our position, and, as we manage and operate the leisure facilities on behalf of Fife Council, we are calling on it, MSPs, local councillors and other stakeholders, as well as the public, to lobby the Government for support to ensure that community leisure services have a long-term, sustainable future.”