More than 750 sign swim ban petition
MORE than 750 people have signed a petition to save a swimming club that has been going for 123 years.
The petition, which has 777 signatures, was set up after Macclesfield Amateur Swimming Club (MASC) was banned from holding lessons at Macclesfield Leisure Centre.
Everybody Sports and Recreation (ESAR), a trust that runs the council’s leisure services, told the club it can no longer teach there, and ESAR will instead run its own lessons.
With the club forced to stop some lessons by April 1 and the rest by April next year, chairman Janice Whitelaw is still urging as many residents and pool users as possible to sign the petition.
She said: “We got 537 signatures on Sunday at Treacle Market. People were queuing up to sign and said it was absolutely disgusting we had to stop teaching.
“One lady even offered us a handful of money but we said we weren’t looking for donations and just wanted to keep teaching.”
She added: “I was delighted with the number of signatures. The support was amazing.
“I’d just like to ask more people to sign as soon as they can.”
Stephen Williamson, whose three sons, Gabriel, 12, Tyler, nine, and Finn, seven, attend the club, said he was ‘extremely annoyed’ at the club closing. He said: “The children are really upset. I’ve been taking them there for a year and a half.
“I can take all my sons, who are at different levels, at the same time and the teachers are excellent.
“Gabriel was too scared to even get in the water in his school swimming lessons but within a couple of weeks at MASC he was loving it. I’ll have to take them somewhere else now as ESAR’s lessons are too expensive.”
He added: “An organisation like ESAR should be helping local clubs instead of removing people’s choices.
“More expensive lessons will mean some parents won’t take their kids which means you’re stopping children from learning to swim, which isn’t safe.”
You can sign the petition at Macclesfield Leisure Centre on Tuesdays from 7pm-9pm or at the post office at Spring Garden on Hurdsfield Road, and the United Reform Church in Park Green.
Cheshire East Council said the club could hire the pool at subsidised rates but not hold lessons.
●● From left: Tyler Williamson, Neive Maddison, Libby Maddison, Gabriel Williamson and Finn Williamson are among the youngsters who go to Macclesfield Amateur Swimming Club