By Wong Foong Inn (President and STAM Tutor, Swimming Teachers’ Association of Malaysia) & Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS (Consultant Paediatrician)
It is now generally understood that the COVID-19 pandemic may last for a number of years and that cases will rebound episodically. While we look for an effective vaccine or drug to be developed, we require guidelines to enable aquatic activities to recommence. This document is prepared by the Swimming Teachers’ Association of Malaysia (STAM) with a view to enable the safe resumption of aquatic education programmes for children and adults.
Aquatic education programmes consist of lessons for babies and pre-school, learn-to-swim, pre-competition, competition and people with disabilities. They play a key part in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle and in creating water safety awareness for all cross-sections of our community. As with all exercise and activities at this time, aquatic education programmes must comply with standards for safe physical distancing throughout lessons and practice within aquatic facilities.
STAM believes that collaboration with public health officials and aquatic facility operators can help create safe guidelines for conducting aquatic education programmes that are compliant with public health directives and promote physical and mental health opportunities. It is with this objective that the guideline was developed to help standardise the measures to be taken by aquatic educators, learners, parents, and pool operators, as well as to offer ideas and initiatives that could be taken. It serves as a guide to a strong routine of standardised measures and will help us through these difficult and unprecedented times.
The full New Standard Guideline for Aquatic Education Program: COVID-19 Prevention is available for download here.
The information provided in this guideline does NOT take precedence over any guidelines from the Ministry of Health or Malaysian government.
The information provided here is based on the latest evidence available at the time of writing and the situation may change as more is understood about COVID-19.