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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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Cumbrian swimming club given helping hand by News & Star

A popular swimming club founded more than 70 years ago needs cash to help members reach their potential.

The committee of the Workington Amateur Swimming Club want it become one of the county’s top three swimming clubs.

But the group, who meet at Workington Leisure Centre and Pool in Moorclose, need money to “maintain competitive standards” and to replace ageing equipment including lane ropes, starting blocks and flags.

The club is receiving £250 from the News & Star Charitable Fund to help them.

Tracey Owen, who is one of the club coaches, said: “Our ultimate aim is to be one of the top three clubs in the county.”

Club president Chris Tatters, who has been a member of the club for 27 years, added: “Bits of plastic are falling off the ropes, but our biggest outgoing is pool hire which costs between £25,000 and £30,000 a year.”

The money is also needed to replace and modernise its officiating equipment and PA system, which is 15 years old and to help them cover the costs of their annual gala.

Asked how many of the young members were Olympic hopefuls, Mr Tatters, 64, said: “All of them: they just haven’t reached their potential yet.

“They will have to go to a big city for that, but every Olympic champion starts in a pool like this. “The club helps to foster discipline and helps give them confidence. It’s also fun and we also like to be very inclusive.

“They enjoy the exercise and belonging to a group even when they are competing with each other.”

Swimmers from the club travel all over the country to compete.

Coaches are voluntary and the parents of the swimmers fund their own children’s competition entries.

The club has about 100 members, the youngest of whom four and the oldest 64. The club was founded in 1936 but was closed during World War Two.

It was re-opened in 1948 by the then chairman John Hill as water polo for adults and was later opened to children.

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