Returning to swimming

As you may have heard, Battersea Jacs is returning to swimming soon. However, the pool time we have been offered is a reduction of approximately 70% on our previous sessions, and we will have no access to the teaching pool. Consequently we cannot return to the programme we had in place prior to March 2020. We are currently not able to run sessions in the Teaching Pool.

Unfortunately, this means that we are in the position whereby we have to ration the available pool time. This is both because the pool operator has reduced the number of swimmers we are allowed to have in the pool at any time, and because we want to make sure that it is
safe for our members to return to swimming.

In the first instance we will be inviting 18 members to join our initial session. Please don’t worry if you are not invited in the first batch, this does not mean that you will not receive an invitation in the future. We are trying to expand the sessions we have been offered, and, as we learn the new processes required under the current, restrictive regime, we will try to increase the number of swimmers we can accommodate in the sessions that we have.

The basis for our first selection is swimmers who can swim continuously for an hour, are regular attenders and have represented the club in galas, since this aligns with the requirements of the operator, the pool time we have been allocated and Swim England guidance on reducing risk. Although it may take a few months to work out, we are committed to providing pool time for all swimmers who can take part in sessions in the main pool at Tooting, but this may be for shorter sessions.

Please visit our web site, which has more information about our safety protocols and guidance for swimmers (

We will contact you in the next few weeks about resuming subscriptions.

We will notify you of any updates as soon as we are able. Thank you for your patience and support at this difficult time.

Kind regards.

BJSC Committee

Proposed date for pool re-opening at Tooting

While Tooting Leisure Centre will be re-opening from Wednesday (19 August), the pool will remain closed due to scheduled maintenance. However, Places Leisure has tentatively proposed that the pool will be available from the week commencing 7 September.

As soon as we are able to confirm dates, we will contact members to advise when sessions will be running. We expect to be running a reduced number of shorter sessions for the foreseeable future.

Tooting Bec Lido and Wandsworth leisure centres to re-open

Tooting Bec Lido is to re-open from 12 August, for lane swimming only, and Wandsworth’s leisure centres are to open from 19 August.

While pools at Putney, Balham and Latchmere will also re-open for lane swimming from 19 August, the pool at Tooting Leisure Centre will remain closed for scheduled maintenance. There is no date currently available for Tooting’s pool to re-open.

Unfortunately that means that the club is still unable to set a schedule for swimming to recommence.

Charlton Lido re-opens

Quickly following on the heels of the government’s announcement that pools and gyms may re-open, Better Leisure has re-opened the open air Charlton Lido, close to Blackheath.

This will come as a surprise to many, who thought that it may take some weeks for pool operators to bring back their staff and recommission pools.

Charlton Lido is unusual in being open air, and heated. Better Leisure’s indoor pools are currently indicating that they will re-open 25 July 2020.

Places Leisure is yet to make any announcement as to when Tooting Bec Lido, or its indoor pools, will re-open.

Pools and gyms to re-open

The government has announced that pools and gyms are to be allowed to re-open from 25 July 2020, with outdoor pools allowed to re-open from 11 July 2020.

Read the government’s announcement.

While the government has made this announcement, it should be recognised that this is only an enabling regulation – it may take longer for pool operators to bring back their staff and make pools available to the public. Swim England envisages it taking two to three weeks for pool operators to recommission facilities.

The club currently has no information from Places Leisure or Wandsworth Council as to when Tooting Leisure Centre will re-open.

Swim England launches #OpenOurPools campaign

Swim England has launched a new campaign to have swimming pools re-opened, following the government’s recent announcement on relaxing Covid-19 restrictions – which had no provisions for re-opening pools.

Swim England is calling on its members, clubs, coaches, teachers, swim schools, swimmers and facility operators to back its #OpenOurPools campaign. Chief Executive Jane Nickerson has said millions of people are being let down by the Government’s decision not to allow pools to reopen on 4 July.

Swim England is therefore urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to re-open facilities up and down the country as soon as possible.

  • Sign the Swim England petition
  • Write to your MP
  • Share the Swim England infographics
  • Pledge your support on social media

View Swim England’s information on the #OpenOurPools campaign.

Swim England posts returning to the pool guidance

Swim England has developed new guidance for returning to swimming, aimed at pool operators, casual swimmers, clubs, coaches and those attending swimming lessons.

Swim England Chief Executive Jane Nickerson said: “While the guidance contains vital information on how to reopen facilities, unfortunately it doesn’t include the key date on when pools can open”.

“We will continue to lobby the Government for a reopening date but, ultimately, we have to be guided by them on this. However, it will not be a case of ‘business as usual’ and we know that things will have to be different.”

View Swim England’s advice for returning to the pool.

No swimming until further notice

We have heard today that Wandsworth are going to close Tooting Leisure Centre from tomorrow. So, unfortunately, Battersea Jacs sessions will have to stop until further notice.

As schools are also closing, we will not be able to have the Sunday sessions at St Joseph’s either.

We may be able to arrange some ad hoc sessions at at other pools. We will contact you with details if this is possible, but it is likely that other councils will follow Wandsworth’s lead, so don’t hold your breath!

Please suspend your standing order to Battersea Jacs while there is no club swimming. We will contact you again as soon as swimming (and payments!) can start up again.

We would like to send our best wishes to you and your families at this difficult time, and we look forward to seeing you all again in the not too distant future.

The Battersea Jacs committee and coaches