Swansea swimming club members devastated at merger
CHILDREN and teenagers from a Swansea swimming club say they are devastated their club is set to merge with another.
Swansea Sharks ASC, which has 116 members, is being merged with Swim Swansea to form a new aquatics organisation.
This week parents and children from the club met with governing body Swim Wales to discuss the future of the club.
Coach and parent Leah Morgan said the children had been left devastated and upset by the changes.
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However, a spokesman for Swim Wales said it was a "very exciting time" for the sport in Swansea.
Around 50 parents and teachers went to the meeting with Swim Wales in Bishop Gore. They want to see the 25-year-old club continue in its own right.
Mrs Morgan said: "Parents are worried they won't be able to afford to send their children to swimming anymore. We are a volunteer club, with volunteer coaches, which is how we keep prices down.
"Parents are also worried about the logistics of taking their children to the pools. We use Bishop Gore and the National Pool, but Swansea uses Morriston, Penyrheol and the National Pool.
"And children don't want to be split up from their friends. My daughter is 12 and has been with Swansea Sharks since she was 3. She doesn't want to go anymore. Some children have already gone to other areas such as Llanelli which only uses one pool and parents can keep their children together."
However, the Swim Wales spokesman said: "We feel there is huge potential for Swansea to be a stellar city for swimming in the UK. It is a very exciting time and at the meeting we were in a position to share with parents a structure for swimming and aquatics in Swansea to suit all levels and ages. We want to provide as many opportunities as we can, for learners, those who want to swim more competitively and those who want to aim to compete at an elite level.
"This structure will cater for swimmers who wish to swim socially, swimmers who may wish to have more diversity available to them in other aquatic disciplines which include water polo, diving and synchronised swimming. We will also see more swim time and inclusion for disabled swimmers
"Our plans are about collectively bringing all swimmers in the city under a Swansea aquatics organisation that will strengthen the opportunities available.
"We are more than happy to speak with any concerned parents and answer any questions they have. Our national performance director even attended the recent meeting to set out how this will benefit swimming in Swansea."