Luxembourg's national swimming federation the FLNS has officially closed the 2019-20 season in light of the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
In an open letter to its swimming clubs on Monday, the FLNS declared the current season closed and set the course for a new sporting start for the 2020-21 season.
FLNS President Marco Stacchiotti explained: "In the executive office, we decided that as the umbrella organisation of the Luxembourg swimming sport with almost 3,000 active swimmers, water polo players, synchronised swimmers and divers, we [would] assume social and sporting responsibility and cancel all events until the end of the season on 31 July out of consideration for the health of our members". He continued: “In this currently difficult situation in which our country is situated, everyone has to help stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. We fully respect and support government action”.
More specifically, the organisation cancelled the following events: the "FLNS Clinic" scheduled for 16 May; the national championship (3m) in diving on 13 June; the Festival de l'Avenir swimming competition on 16 June; the Open Luxembourg Nationals swimming competition from 11-12 July; the interregional Luxembourg
Championship in water polo and the five-kilometre championship in open water swimming scheduled for 18 July 2020.
At the same time, the course for the coming season is already being set. Commenting on the organisation's strategic decisions, Christian Hansmann, Technical Director of FLNS, explained: “The current squad will be frozen for the 2020-2021 season, each athlete will retain his / her squad status. Those who have achieved a higher management standard will be upgraded. For our youngest squads, we also recognise times on the 25m track".
Mr Hansmann added that the past few weeks have been used intensively on the administrative side. In constructive talks with the Ministry of Sports, the competitive sports budget for 2020 was drawn up and the Luxembourg Institute for High Performance in Sports (LIHPS) supported the organisation's elite athletes in the training process with weekly updates on their offers available in times of crisis. The FLNS also confirmed that it is in close contact with the Sportlycée for the selection of new admissions for the school year 2020-21, as well as the Centre National Sportif et Culturel in preparation for continuous training in the summer months.