Swimmers unhappy they’re not allowed back into the pools

Bad times: Former national swimmer Leung Chii Lin says those who operate swimming academies are bleeding financially.

PETALING JAYA: Gyms, snooker centres and indoor sports venues like futsal and badminton courts can reopen from next Monday. However, all swimming pools, even those at residential condominiums, remain off limits.

And those in the swimming industry can’t help but feel let down by the situation.

The Youth and Sports Ministry have only given an exemption to swimmer Welson Sim to train at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil as he is under the Road to Tokyo programme.

He will have Sebastian Soon and Khiew Hoe Yean for company and sparring.

Former Olympian freestyle swimmer Leung Chii Lin, who now runs a swimming academy in the city, is hoping the ministry will listen to their voices.

“Swimming is an essential sport which can save people’s lives and does not involve any mass gathering or even body contact. Most sports have been allowed to resume training but not swimming.

“All of us who operate swimming academies are bleeding financially. We have had no income since the middle of March.

“We have been paying coaches only half their monthly salaries as we have overhead costs like rental and maintenance.

“Many swimming instructors are doing part-time jobs like food deliveries.

“I hope the ministry can allow the swimming industry to resume, but with SOPs in place, of course.

“There is no evidence that Covid-19 virus can be transmitted through water. Chlorine in the pool water will also kill the virus. We already have a good SOP planned to resume swimming classes with no contact,” said the Sabah-born swimmer, who represented the country at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Former SEA Games gold medallist Kevin Yeap, who is now the Perak swimming coach, hoped to be allowed back into pool training.

“We were hoping to start as soon as possible as with the exemptions given to sports activities to resume in the country. But then we found out it is still not possible to return to the pool.

“Three months is not good as you lose that feeling in the water and be out of shape.

“Many countries have reopened swimming pools with SOPs in place. I know Thailand have allowed their swimmers to train but separated by lanes and with the coaches wearing masks.

“Hopefully, the authorities will reconsider allowing us back into the pool,” said the former top national middle and long distance swimmer.
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

swimming , malaysia


Did you find this article insightful?


95% readers found this article insightful

Next In Swimming

Dog-meat tweeting judge in Sun doping case had doubtful impartiality: Swiss court
Swimming: Former Olympic champion Keller part of U.S. Capitol siege - reports
No splash in the pool as age group meet called off
MS to kickstart 2021 season with age-group championships
Martin misses Xmas with family, but work comes first
Swimming: Sun's doping ban referred back to CAS after appeal
Cindy to don latest swimsuit worn by Dressel and Schooling
Athletics: Reputation will not protect athletes from doping ban, says Coe
Estonians plunge into icy water to ward off coronavirus blues
Phelps says world records unlikely in Tokyo

Stories You'll Enjoy