HIRE charges at Scarborough Indoor Pool are among the highest in the country and could deter people from taking part it has been claimed.
Scarborough Swimming Club president Sam Greetham described the amount they had paid – a staggering £43,000 – as an “astronomical sum” at the group’s recent AGM and added that it dwarfed that paid by other clubs across the country.
He said: “As the recession bites, local families are going to find it more and more difficult to keep their children in this sport.
“We face ever increasing costs of pool hire from Scarborough Borough Council and despite measures put in place to help struggling families costs will go up.”
Tania Exley-Moore, a member of the club’s executive committee, said members were really concerned about the pool hire costs and she believed that another club – Kingfishers Swimming Club – would have faced hire fees of a similar level.
She added: “According to British Swimming we pay one of the highest fees in the country. It is making it very difficult for us to make ends meet and there is no way we can protect our members from spiralling costs.”
Kingfishers’ secretary Colin Simmons agreed that the fees were high. He added: “I think generally if you are a parent and the fees are to go up, and your child can already swim, with what’s going on generally in the economy, swimming is something you would probably give up to make savings.
“What we are losing is lifelong swimmers – which is what we are trying to promote. We don’t want to teach people to swim and then they stop. We want to them to carry on swimming for life.
“It has got more and more difficult to meet the costs. We are finding as a club that we are constantly having to look at more ways of fund-raising, not to get the nice things in life, but just to keep the club going.
“We have got a lot of people swimming in Scarborough. Both clubs have about 200 members each and we deserve a lot better than we get. We are a coastal town, swimming is part of our heritage, we should be doing more to promote and support it.”
At the time of going to press no one from Scarborough Council was available for comment.