Warning over future of club after swimming class ban
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