Further Update

Hi All
Firstly please can I apologise for the length of time it has taken to write to you all. With one thing and another I just haven’t been able to keep on top of everything, so again, apologies for the delay.
I sincerely hope that you and your families are safe and well as we continue to work our way through this pandemic? I have no doubt that it has affected you all in one way or another, I just hope the effect has been minimal on you all.
During the course of lockdown and inactivity, North Lancs have continued communications with our member clubs. We have had meeting with chairs or club representatives, with each outlining the difficulties they have and continue to face. Our AGM went ahead as planned via the zoom platform and the exec meetings have continued to take place as normal.
There are many people, in most cases volunteers who have worked so hard in the background trying to ensure that their club have a future, the same people have also been actively helping others who have not been as fortunate.
The level of togetherness in North Lancs has always been the key to the Association’s strengths, but these wonderful people have brought that togetherness closer. I would like to thank all those who have been working tirelessly at their clubs and in some cases, tirelessly in helping other clubs stay alive during this most difficult time in our sport’s history.
Thank you so much.
As you will no doubt be aware after the Prime Minister’s address on Monday 22/02, we are now approaching yet another end to another lockdown, this time, in the hope we can re build our clubs, our Association, our competitions and our sport without any further disruptions or dare I say, lockdown. But nothing is certain, and certainly not during these times.
As we look forward to April 12th when, hopefully Leisure facilities will be again able to open their doors, (presuming that all is still safe to do after after step 1 of the government’s road map) we obviously look forward to seeing our swimmers return to their clubs and to resume training. I look forward in our Association being able to re commence our activities and in particular our competitions. I can tell you that when taking over the presidency in December 2019 I had no idea I may be the only president in our associations history not to be able to present swimmers with their awards at our competitions. This may still be the case as I leave office in December this year, however I am determined we can have something, at very least in the diary before my time is over.
The swimming and development committee will, in the coming weeks, be working hard to formulate some kind of competition for ALL of our associated clubs and swimmers. We are going to work closely with our friends at Micro League of the North West to try and incorporate a festival of swimming which we hope will get the athletes back on the competitive pathway.
We are also going to look closely at the possibly re introduction of Water Polo back into the Association and will be again starting discussions with the relevant water polo clubs in the coming weeks and months.
In order for us to continue doing this we will try where we can to support the education of new teachers, coaches and officials to keep the backbone of our activities as strong as possible.
Due to the announcement that the PM made on Monday evening we will do all we can to work closely with the leisure providers to ensure we can host competitions, we will do all we can to ensure the health and safety of our members, clubs and communities whenever we host an activity and will try to put processes in place in line with leisure providers risk assessments etc.
Again, apologies for the length of time it has taken to write to you, I will keep you informed through the website an your club reps of when things will start to happen, so please continue to be patient, please continue to stay safe and well and please do all you can to help and support your clubs. I truly hope to see you all at a pool in the coming months.
Thank you
Steve Heaps


As you are all aware the North Lancs affiliated clubs have come together over the past few weeks to share their experiences and difficulties in returning to normal operations since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The club Chair’s and delegates have had one meeting to share each other’s ongoing problems and how best to overcome, and there will be more to follow in the coming weeks.

You will be aware in the news lately that such facilities such as Plymouth and Pond’s Forge, Sheffield are facing extremely uncertain futures, if the result of the pandemic is having an effect on facilities of this nature, then it is only natural that ALL facilities & swimming clubs are facing an uncertain future.

What the North Lancs Exec committee is trying to do, is to facilitate conversation and best working practices between all our affiliated clubs. We are trying to get clubs talking to each another, to help each other and if at all possible, to build honest working relationships that may help others survive through these challenging times. It is not going to be easy, we face many difficulties and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that we lose clubs due to no fault of their own, but we must try.

Some clubs are truly struggling for pool time, some more than others, but all clubs are facing difficulties and very uncertain futures whether they have pool time or not, so now, more than ever, it is important that each club’s membership help the club they are currently with rather than try to move club’s in order to gain some pool time.

I am aware that the temptation is there to transfer to other clubs in order to continue swimming but in all honesty, it is more important to ensure we protect all clubs within North Lancashire until such time that this is no longer possible. Swimming club’s in our community are a vital source of health and well being to our communities, not to mention they offer us an avenue for competitive sport, which, is also a vital part of any child’s education. We don’t have any performance club’s within our area, we are all local community swimming clubs, that in some cases have over 100yrs of history, surely the most important thing is to ensure these clubs are here for the next generations to enjoy?

By remaining with the club you are currently signed to, can only help their survival. I know people change clubs, they always have, for many different reasons, but changing club’s at this moment in time just to try and find a little pool time will only be detrimental to the survival of swimming club’s in our area.

The club Chairs  will hopefully be meeting again towards the end of this month when we are coming out of the holiday season, I’m sure this may be a topic for debate but please do all you can to help all swimming clubs. Thank you. 

Again, please stay alert, please stay safe and hopefully in time we can be welcoming all our clubs back to North Lancs competition in the future, fingers crossed!!


Kind Regards


Steve Heaps



Further Update 31.07.2020

Hi Everyone.
As we continue to move forward down this most uncertain pathway, I would like to update you a little on what has been happening within North Lancs lately. We had a Club chairs meeting on the 23rd July and from a pretty good turnout it was evident that all our member clubs are facing very different challenges with pool providers, yet all are in pretty much the same position. We are all uncertain how this pandemic is going to affect the sport and our individual clubs.
There were a number of great ideas of what we can do to try and bring to the attention of pool providers, local councillors and leaders, even local MP’s and media. I will be arranging another Club Chairs meet quiet soon to start putting some of these into practice and see if we can all help one another through this very difficult time.
On Thursday 30th July the North Lancs Exec met to discuss the above and what course of action needs to be done regarding our outstanding 2020 North Lancs competition. It was agreed by all in attendance that it is only right and proper to cancel the 2020 Sub League competition and remove the first gala from the records. The Sub League therefore will have no change in 2021, we will start the 2021 season with the two divisions as they currently stand and the records will show that the 2020 competition will show cancelled due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic. The Swimming & Development committee will meet soon to discuss arranging the 2021 season, once we have more information from pool providers.
Our attention was then on discussion of the L2 meet, which, was, earlier in the year changed to L3.
This meet was due to take place in September/October 2020, obviously as we have previously reported this will no longer happen, however it was felt that the meet be postponed until such a time it can take place. The reasons for this are numerous but we feel that the first meet that takes place once restrictions are lifted should be North Lancs Meet for our affiliated clubs. We are in a position where we can offer a quality meet for all, cater for all and can, if required, take a loss on the competition in order to get our swimmers back in the water, so after discussion we are going to postpone the North Lancs meet until such time we are able to host, when this time arrives we will be booking pools and organising the running of this meet.

I would just like to say that your swimming clubs are working incredibly hard behind the scenes to try and ensure that all our swimmers have a future, and they will continue to do so. We are living in very difficult times, both personally and for our sport but if we can continue engaging in working partnerships to help each other out then I am sure the sport, North Lancs & your respective clubs can survive. Please Stay safe, please stay alert and please continue to follow the guidelines. I wish you all the very best of health and hope to see you all at a pool soon.

Many Thanks

Steve Heaps


Update for Association Members

Hi All

Firstly I would just like to say on behalf of the North Lancs Swimming & Water Polo Association I just hope and pray that all our member clubs, families and friends are all keeping safe and well during this most difficult time.

Last night (16th June 2020) the swimming and development committee met (on Zoom) to discuss the forthcoming L2 meet which is schedule for 26/27 September & 17/18 October and the conclusion of the 2020 Swim League.
When I last wrote to you on 3rd April it was unsure as to exactly what would happen to the remainder of the 2020 North Lancs competitions and to a certain extent nothing has really changed at the moment. We did however, decide, in April to change the L2 licence to a L3 licence and this is still the case should the event take place.

It was agreed last night to postpone the dates for September, and possibly the October dates, until we have more information from pool providers, following Swim England’s Guidance for Clubs released on Monday 15th June. With the North West Region Short Course Champs cancelled and the cancellation of the 2020 Arena League it does (if possible) give us scope to hold some form of Championships later in the year should circumstances improve. I would like to make it perfectly clear that if we can hold the 2020 Championships in whatever format we can, in a safe environment for all, then we will look to do so, but it has to be safe for all, including the local communities. This is paramount and we will not risk the health and safety of anyone.
We will endeavour to keep you posted as and when we learn more about the situation we face and as circumstances develop; so please check the website for updates.

We also discussed the 2020 Swim League season and again have concluded that if we can hold the remaining fixture towards the end of 2020, in a safe environment for all then we will do so. Again I must stress we will not risk the health and safety of anyone.

I would also like to mention that we briefly discussed the re-introduction of Water Polo back into North Lancs, I aim to write to all interested parties for Water Polo once we have more information on what will be classed as normal service so, please do not think we have forgotten about discussions held earlier in the year, this is not the case.

During the swimming and development meeting last night it became apparent that there are a number of clubs in the district facing severe challenges in the very near future, whether this is financial, pool providers, swimmer retention, teacher/coach retention, officials retention or any other matter, our clubs face unprecedented challenges. I was asked if I could contact all member clubs’ Chairpersons to arrange a meeting (on Zoom) to discuss the issues we currently face and to see if we can canvass for opinions to try and help one another through these times as best as possible. In the next few days I intend to write to all our clubs Chairpersons to invite them to a meeting, so please check your emails regularly & try to ensure you are available, if at all possible.
I think it is fair to say that our sport, truly has a rather uncertain future, none of us know what is going to happen, it is going to be difficult and we face the serious prospect of some of clubs facing closure through no fault of their own, I think the time has come for all to try (if at all possible) to help one another through these very difficult times.

In closing for now, please continue to Stay Safe, follow all the guidelines that have been advertised and try to ensure that yourselves, your families, friends and communities are as safe as possible.

Steve Heaps
President NLSWPA


Covid-19 Impact on NLSWPA Events

Hi all

I am writing to you to try and keep you fully informed regarding the unprecedented situation we currently face due to the current coronavirus pandemic. The world we currently live in, is one that is totally different from last month. We now find ourselves having to change our way of life in order to try and save the lives of others and help our NHS, carers, emergency services, logistics, cleaners, and many, many more vital people. I would like to thank all these special people who are working around the clock to ensure we have everything we need, so we can beat this virus. As you know we have a duty and responsibility to ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing to all members of the public, not just those in the swimming community, but to all people.
Tonight the swimming and development committee met (via zoom conference call, not in person) to discuss the remainder of the 2019-2020 swimming season. We discussed all areas around North Lancs swimming and water polo association and activities and have concluded that the following will take immediate effect.

2020 swim league.
The remaining fixture for the 2020 season which is due on 20th June will be postponed. There are plans to try and swim this fixture later in the year to try and complete the fixture, however if this cannot be completed then the 2020 swim league season will be cancelled and records will show this.

2020 Level 3 meet.
The 2020 North Lancs level 3 meet schedule for 11th & 12th July will be cancelled. This decision has not been taken lightly, but we believe it is the correct decision. Therefore the Level 3 meet will be cancelled for 2020. I can only apologise for this but in the best interest of everybody concerned we (the committee) believe this decision to be correct.

2020 Level 2meet.
At the time of writing we are planning to hold the level 2 meet as planned however this will be changed slightly to be as fair to as many swimmers as possible. For the 2020-21 season the Level 2 meet will become a level 3 meet. This will be to try and encompass as many swimmers as possible, to try and hopefully re-introduce athletes back into competition. Please don’t worry as you can still get county and regional qualifying times from a level 3 meet. The committee will be looking at the programme and qualification times for this meet as soon as possible and we will inform you on all developments once we have confirmed.

Water Polo
As some of you will know we are trying hard to re-introduce water polo within the association, sadly this has had to be put on hold due to the pandemic, but please can I assure all involved with water polo that we are still committed to this re-introduction as soon as circumstances allow.

The swimming and development committee will be reviewing all aspects of our association activities during the next 6-8 weeks, the exec meetings will be cancelled until September at the earliest, however we will continue to send updates to delegates and members as best we can, in the meantime can I please thank you for patience, understanding and support during these uncertain times.
Finally On behalf of the NLSWPA I would just like to wish you, your families and your communities the very best of health. Please stay safe, stay at home, help the NHS and help save lives.

Steve Heaps
President NLSWPA.

3rd April 2020



Executive Meeting Cancelled

In light of the unprecedented situation regarding the current Corona Virus outbreak and Government guidance to keep social contact to a minimum, we have cancelled the Executive meeting due to be held on Monday 6th April.
There is no particularly pressing business that requires us to meet at this juncture.
With Regional swimming events effectively suspended until at least early May, it does bring into question whether the third round of Swim League and the Level 3 meet, scheduled for June & July respectively, will actually go ahead.
The Swimming Committee will keep these matters under review and report back to you on any decisions/recommendations.
Janice may well circulate the pack for the Level 3 meet but with a later closing date for entries and instructions not to remit funds/entries until we know for certain that the meet is going ahead.
Hopefully matters will have settled down and returned to some level of normality before the Level 2 Champs in the autumn and Steve and Janice will continue to work on the programme for that meet.
Thank you for your understanding and co-operation.
Please stay safe and well.