Wisbech swimmers call for support as they test the water after months of lockdown

Wisbech Swimming Club are calling for support as they adapt to life after the height of the coronavi

Wisbech Swimming Club are calling for support as they adapt to life after the height of the coronavirus lockdown. Here, swimmers are with MP Steve Barclay who presented medals and trophies at one of Wisbech Swimming Club’s 2019 Club Championship galas. Picture: ADAM FAIRBROTHER - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Swimming Club were already preparing to meet again before the government announced when pools could reopen, and now it is asking for support as swimmers return from lockdown.

Plans are in place to enable a swift and safe return to their Hudson Leisure Centre home from Saturday, July 25, as a survey with club members revealed a large majority of swimmers were eager to get back into the water.

During the coronavirus lockdown, the club decided to freeze membership fees, meaning they did not receive any income in this period.

With training sessions also changing, including smaller groups and shorter time frames, the club is asking for financial help as it aims to maintain a high standard of coaching.

Matt Hunter, chairman of Wisbech Swimming Club, said: “However well we plan, we know there will be difficulties to overcome, not least with funding.

“We decided not to charge membership fees while the pool was closed and with the amount of water time available to us likely to change over the coming weeks, it’s impossible to know how much our fixed costs are going to be.

“Because of that and to help ensure greater financial security as we enter into the first stage of recovery, we’ve set up a Crowdfunding page, with a target of £5,000.”

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Despite not being able to train as usual, swimmers have kept in touch with one another through twice-weekly Zoom meetings, including challenges, exercise and nutrition sessions.

With the chance that fee levels may increase as training, which is planned to return from Monday, July 27 adapts to the ‘new normal’, it is hoped the goodwill of friends, families and businesses will ensure the club will keep afloat.

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Hunter said: “We understand that some families have concerns not only over the welfare of their swimmers as they return to the Hudson Centre, but also worries over the affordability of the swimming we’ll initially be able to offer.

“We’re working hard to do our best for everyone. We know we’ll have to accept compromises over the first few weeks back in the pool, but we’re hoping the money raised through crowdfunding will help us through some of these challenges.

“We know we’ll have smaller groups in our teaching and coaching sessions and our intention is that crowdfunding donations will help keep fee levels affordable for everyone.”

To donate and for more information, go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/wsc2020.