Aquatics and Recreation Institute charts sector’s roadmap to reopening

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The Aquatics and Recreation Institute (ARI) NSW has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement from Thursday last week that sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen under the state’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ once the 70% double vaccination target is reached.

Applauding the development, ARINSW Chairperson, Matt Griffiths stated “aquatic and recreation facilities are at the heart of every community across NSW.

“Last year we were one of the first sectors to close and last to reopen.

“ARINSW is thrilled that the State Government has listened to the needs of the aquatics and recreation sector and prioritised our reopening. We thank the (NSW) Government for constructively engaging with ARINSW and our members, and look forward to continuing to work together to design the finer details of the Road to Recovery.”

Implementation of Advocacy Plan
The ARINSW’s Advocacy committee has been working closely with the Board of Directors to implement the Advocacy Strategic Approach, with Advocacy Lead Marco Blanco explaining “we welcomed the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the sector at an Industry session facilitated by the NSW Treasury and COVID Taskforce along with ARINSW member, the Y NSW.

“We reinforced that the economic recovery of the sector is premised on the ability to reopen as quickly as possible (and) are pleased that the NSW Government has supported the sector’s calls to facilitate the reopening of aquatic and recreation facilities.”

ARINSW call for Rescue and Restart package
Based on the experience following previous lockdowns, it took six to nine months to get the sector up and running again, and there was a flow on effect with many patrons slow to return due to post pandemic cost of living and broader financial pressures.

Therefore, ARINSW is seeking to continue working with the NSW Government to develop a Rescue and Restart package for the sector.

Once JobSaver stops, ARINSW calls for an alternative grant program to support the sector as it returns to pre-covid utilisation rates.

Member Engagement
Beyond its work with the NSW Government, ARI is continuing to engage with its members to better understand how they have been impacted by COVID-19 and extended lockdowns.

Here, Griffiths adds “we thank our members for their participation in our industry survey and their invaluable feedback.

“We will continue the engagement process as we look to develop a rescue and restart package with Government.”

‘Get Vaccinated’
ARINSW strongly urges members to facilitate the vaccination of the sector’s workforce. In this regard, ARINSW also calls on the NSW Government to provide priority access to aquatics and recreation workers, so that they can return to work, fully vaccinated and protected.

Finally, ARINSW acknowledges the support provided by its advocacy partners, the Y NSW, Belgravia Leisure, BlueFit and AUSTSWIM.

Image courtesy of Zoggs.

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