Warn­ing over fu­ture of club af­ter swim­ming class ban

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A POP­U­LAR swim­ming club that has been run­ning for more than 40 years says it could have to close fol­low­ing the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to ban ri­val swim­ming classes at Mac­cles­field Leisure Cen­tre.

The Satel­lites of Mac­cles­field Swim­ming Club and Mac­cles­field Am­a­teur Swim­ming Club (MASC), which both run lessons at the leisure Cen­tre, have been told they must make way for Ev­ery­body Sports and Recre­ation (ESAR), a char­ity which de­liv­ers leisure fa­cil­i­ties for Cheshire East Coun­cil and will de­liver all fu­ture classes at the pool.

But Val Mel­lor, pres­i­dent of Satel­lites, said the loss of the teach­ing in­come will have a di­rect af­fect on the club and may cause it to close.

She said: “The money from teach­ing is a source of in­come for the com­pet­i­tive side and with­out it fees will have to go up and then the club may even have to close.”

She added: “ESAR have to make the pool pay but I would have hoped there would be a bit more lee­way. The club has been around for so many years, since 1972, and is so well-known in the north west.”

Val’s son Steven Mel­lor, who com­peted in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and won a bronze medal at the Com­mon­wealth Games in Canada in 1994, swam with the Satel­lites for 25 years.

He has also crit­i­cised the de­ci­sion, say­ing fewer chil­dren can af­ford lessons.

He said: “It’s a shame ESAR are tak­ing the classes over as classes help the clubs sur­vive.

“Swim­ming is a vi­tal skill and if peo­ple have to pay more for lessons when ESAR take them over par­ents won’t want their kids to at­tend.

“It’s not a pos­i­tive thing at all for the clubs.”

Jan­ice Whitelaw, MASC chair­man, said the club, which will close if the de­ci­sion goes ahead, had re­ceived 107 let­ters of sup­port from par­ents ask­ing for the club to be kept open.

A re­port in the Ex­press last week gen­er­ated dozens of Face­book com­ments about the clo­sure of MASC.

Sue Ni­cholls wrote: “The club fits in with my busy sched­ule and is af­ford­able.

“Ev­ery­one needs to be able to swim as it could save your life and tak­ing away our choice means some kids won’t.”

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley is also back­ing the cam­paign to keep the classes at the cen­tre.

He said: “I’m writ­ing again to ESAR and Cheshire East Coun­cil and hope they can find a way for the clubs to have a role in pro­vid­ing lessons at the pool.”

●● For­mer Olympic swim­mer and Com­mon­wealth Games bronze medal­list Steven Mel­lor swam with the Satel­lites for 25 years

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