eThekwini, 4 January 2021

Dear fellow Masters swimmers!

I hope you have celebrated a safe and healthy Christmas and I wish you a blessed 2021.

Given the development and severity of the second Covid-19 wave in SA as well as globally and the latest changes in regulations holding a large National gala with masters (which includes many with comorbidities) is not advisable. Consulting with regional presidents, LOC and SAMS committee members the consensus was to postpone by one year at this stage.

The 37th SAMS national masters long course championship as planned for March 2021 is cancelled and postponed by one year to March 2022.

Nationals is our only annual national event held at the end of the summer swim season. After all the thorough preparation we are very grateful that the Cape Town LOC has agreed to host the postponed nationals in March 2022. Exact dates will be communicated when the venues have been confirmed.

Our hospital systems are overburdened. Covid-19 is wreaking havoc in our families, communities and businesses. With the advent of vaccines holding a national gala in 2022 will have a much higher probability of being held responsibly. Please take every effort to get vaccinated, both for your own health and to substantially reduce the risk of holding regional and national galas for masters.

For all participants out of town travel arrangements are taken at great risk of regulations being changed at short notice. For those of you who have booked, we hope you can negotiate that the accommodation and travel booked can be held for one year as nationals will be held at the same location.

We had considered to hold over February and March a low key long-course “nationals” based on same format as SC nationals but decided against it on the basis of availability of pools in hotspots. Regions where feasible are encouraged to hold regional long-course galas to cover as much as possible of the events (a two-day gala is sufficient.)

The short-course nationals are extended to the end of March 2021 to allow for availability of pools in adjusted regulations and in cognisance of the cancelled national masters long course championship. Currently galas with no visitors are still allowed under level 3.

Please keep safe, wash your hands and sanitise, practise physical distancing and interact socially in a safe manor.

And let’s live our very apt Masters mantra “to swim for fun, fitness and friendship.”

Wolfgang Fechter

President and on behalf of South African Masters Swimming