A JUNIOR swimming club is facing closure because the flow of qualified coaches is drying up.
Kingfisher Swimming Club, which meets at City Baths in Chester, offers affordable lessons for children but is cancelling its Wednesday night beginners session at the end of the month because of staff shortages.
Volunteer coach Alan Wilding, 41, said: “The teacher currently doing the 6-7pm class is unable to carry on doing it. And we haven’t got anyone to take over that lesson.”
The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) has changed its qualification structure and, as a result, the City Baths lost its accreditation as a training centre. Because of that it now costs more than £600 to train a new coach.
“As a result of that, there are no local courses to send anybody on. The nearest courses are Liverpool and Manchester,” added Alan.
“The course in Chester used to cost about £200, now the nearest course costs more than £600. Because the Kingfisher teachers are all volunteers, it’s not something we can expect them to fund. We have always funded the course in the past - £200 is fundable, £600 is not.
“The ASA changes have hindered us in getting the youngsters in.”
The club, for primary school children, is more than 30 years old and offers value-for-money swimming sessions.
Alan said: “Our sessions cost £30 for half a year. Most classes cost that for a session or per month. It’s going to cause problems for the future. We are not going to be able to train people to replace ourselves.”