After over 1.5 years, swimming pools are finally opening up for all activities. This has been the most exciting development for all of us. We look forward to the familiar sounds of splashing and squeals of delight at swimming pools. To us, they reveal so much fun, adventure and spirit.
With this very long break, we have to ensure how we can make swimming sustainable and welcoming for all. It is time we embrace our pools for learning, health and recreation. Here are our five important reasons why we should swim, even during COVID-19.
Well-maintained swimming pools are SAFER
A swimming pool can be one of the safer places to be in, because the level of chlorine in the water will kill the virus. The Covid-19 virus does not transmit through water while swimming, as confirmed by the World Health Organization. Swimming in a well-circulated, properly maintained and chlorinated pool is safer.
Safety protocols can be incorporated at swimming pools
There are concerns about transmission of the virus outside the pool, which can be addressed by putting safety measures in place. Since swimming pools are controlled spaces, social distancing, frequent sanitizing, disinfection, masking, limiting capacity, and other safety practices are easier to incorporate and supervise. Swimming can be better managed through controlled entry/exits and number of users. Users can be screened and monitored. Structured systems can be put in place beyond the pool like the change areas, and thoroughfare.
(Talk to us if you want to understand how swimming pools can safely open for swimmers and learners).
Swimming allows for social distancing
Unlike many other sports, swimming is an individual sport that does not require close physical contact. This makes it possible for people to adhere to social distancing rules both inside and outside the pool to stay safe.
Swimming is good for fitness and immunity building
Swimming is a great low impact exercise that builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. It provides an all-over body workout, as nearly all muscles are used during swimming. It helps one maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs. All the breath work is great for building one’s strength and immunity to fight a bad virus.
Swimming prevents drowning deaths
While our eyes are trained on Covid-19 case numbers, worrying statistics are staring at us from elsewhere. 32,671 people died of drowning in our country in 2019, which translates to an average of 90 people a day! Drowning is a preventable death, and the only way we can save lives from drowning is by teaching swimming and water safety skills to every Indian. (Read the ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides Report released by the National Crime Records Bureau in September 2020 here)
In conclusion, we need to remember that swimming is more than just a sport – it is a life skill and a life saving skill that everyone must know. With the safety measures in place, swimming pools can open and people can safely and confidently return to the swimming pool and pursue swimming for training, recreation or learning.