Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish Government stance on return of competitive club age swimmers: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
21 May 2021
Scottish Government stance on return of competitive club age swimmers: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100193779
Date received: 14 Apr 2021
Date responded: 13 May 2021
Information requested

1. Is the Scottish Government aware that the English Government has made a specific exemption and allowed competitive swimming club Age Group swimmers in England who are members of competitive swimming club squads and whose 18th birthday fell since 31 August 2020 to re-start training with their squads on the same date as the rest of the squad i.e. are not applying the general population 18+ rule to this very specific group of competitive club swimmers?

2. Has the Scottish Government made a decision specifically NOT to do the same in Scotland as in England in relation to this very specific group of competitive club Age Group swimmers whose 18th birthday occurred during this current lockdown period?

3. If so, whose decision was it NOT to make the same exemption and NOT to apply the same in Scotland as has been applied in England?

4. Again if the Scottish Government is aware and/or a decision has been made, has the Scottish Government given/stated a reason for not applying this very specific exemption in Scotland?

5. Has the Scottish Government either sought scientific advice ON THIS VERY SPECIFIC ISSUE/GROUP OF competitive swimming club Age Group swimmers in England who are members of competitive swimming club squads and whose 18th birthday occurred during this current lockdown period? If so, please provide the scientific advice on this very specific issue received by the Scottish Government. If the Scottish Government DID NOT SEEK/REQUEST any scientific advice ON THIS VERY SPECIFIC ISSUE relating to this SPECIFIC GROUP OF SWIMMERS, please say so. If the Scottish Government HAS NOT RECEIVED any scientific advice ON THIS VERY SPECIFIC ISSUE relating to this VERY SPECIFIC GROUP OF SWIMMERS, please say so.

6. Please provide all records and full recorded details of the CONTENT of any meetings or communication/discussion/exchange between the Scottish Government and Sports Scotland where THIS VERY SPECIFIC ISSUE ABOUT WHETHER TO ALLOW AGE GROUP COMPETITIVE CLUB SWIMMERS WHOSE 18th BIRTHDAY OCCURRED DURING THIS CURRENT LOCKDOWN PERIOD TO RETURN TO TRAINING WITH THE REST OF THEIR SQUADS ON THE SAME DATE i.e. PLEASE PROVIDE FULL AND COMPREHENSIVE DETAILS OF WHO IN SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT AND WHO IN SPORTS SCOTLAND SAID WHAT IN DISCUSSION/COMMUNICATION ABOUT THIS QUESTION.

7. Has the Scottish Government required/stipulated that Swim Scotland must raise/address all such issues/matters (i.e. date of return to squad training of competitive swimmers whose 18th birthday occurred during this current lockdown) through Sport Scotland on their behalf, and that Swim Scotland should not and may not address such questions/matters directly to the Scottish Government instead of through Sport Scotland?

Response

1. We are not aware of any exemption as you have detailed. Following your enquiry, we contacted colleagues in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) who confirmed that there is no exception in the regulations as you have outlined.

2. As above, we understand that no exemption is provided in England and we have therefore not made a decision in relation to this.

3. Please see the answer to question 1 and 2 above.

4. Please see the answer to question 1 and 2 above.

5. We did not request specific evidence as you have outlined (please also refer to answers 1 and 2). The Scottish Government’s decisions are guided by the principles set out in our Framework for Decision Making. Proposals are technically assessed using the best available evidence and analysis of their potential benefits and harms to health, the economy, and broader society to minimise overall harm and ensure transmission of the virus continues to be suppressed.

6. We have had no meetings or communications as you have outlined. We speak to sportscotland on a regular basis and are aware of representations from a number of different sports relating to 17 year olds turning 18 and being unable to train in the same team, as set out in enclosed email exchange between the Scottish Government and sportscotland.

7. sportscotland’s role includes direct contact with the Scottish Sporting Governing Bodies, including Scottish Swimming. In relation to sport specific Covid guidance, governing bodies were asked to produce a draft and liaise directly with sportscotland to finalise before issuing to clubs and members. The Scottish Government is always happy to speak to our sporting governing bodies about any topic, but in preparing the guidance they were asked to liaise directly with sportscotland (as outlined above).

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG