Swimming club angry over loss of coaching session

PUBLISHED: 11:54 11 August 2006 | UPDATED: 22:02 28 May 2010

Wisbech Swimming Club members celebrate Swim 21 accreditation, as reported in the Wisbech Standard at the end of June - Pic: Peter Upton

Wisbech Swimming Club members celebrate Swim 21 accreditation, as reported in the Wisbech Standard at the end of June - Pic: Peter Upton

COACHES at Wisbech Swimming Club have warned that the loss of an hour-long coaching session will have a detrimental effect on their youngest members. For the past seven months, the club has been embroiled in a battle with the Hudson Leisure Centre, in Wis

COACHES at Wisbech Swimming Club have warned that the loss of an hour-long coaching session will have a detrimental effect on their youngest members.

For the past seven months, the club has been embroiled in a battle with the Hudson Leisure Centre, in Wisbech, after they were told that they would have to axe a Tuesday evening coaching session.

Following heated discussions, club officials have now resigned themselves to the fact that one of their most popular classes will now be lost.

Coach Claire Harrington explains: "The Tuesday evening session has been in place for several years and regularly brings in 30 or more young club members who are learning to swim and make the progression to competing over short distances.

"Children aged between five and seven years old attend and it forms the basis of all our other classes."

She added: "We have tried to negotiate another time of the week with the Hudson Leisure Centre but the only other time they can offer to us is 7.30am on a Saturday.

"There is no way that we can expect the children, or for that matter the coaches, to be able to get to the pool at that time."

The loss of this hour will affect the other club classes, as Claire explains: "There will be a knock-on effect to other age groups and their sessions and this will mean that we have to shuffle classes around.

"Ultimately, this will not be good for any of our children because membership waiting lists will increase and there will be less opportunity to give one-to-one coaching sessions."

She added: "We have argued our case with the council and the leisure centre but we have been told there is nothing we can do.

"It is very sad because we serve the community of Wisbech and it is the people of the town who will suffer from this decision."

A Fenland District Council spokesman said: "The Hudson Leisure Centre's catchment area covers 22,000 people and we are keen to encourage members of the public to take up swimming.

"We have identified this hour as important because currently there is no time available for public swimming on a Tuesday. We have offered Wisbech Swimming Club an alternative slot on any day before 9am but we have not heard anything."

The spokesman added: "We are keen to promote healthy lifestyles and exercise to everyone.

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