Long wait for young swimmers after closure of Castle Sports’ learner pool

Spalding Amateur Swimming Club members outside Castle Sports  Complex, from left: chairman John Pailing, Pete Green, Jed Devey, Eileen Robson, Sam Weatherill, Clair Thacker, president Stephanie Jones, Frances Pagett, Bob Steel and Sue Briers. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG200318-117TW
Spalding Amateur Swimming Club members outside Castle Sports Complex, from left: chairman John Pailing, Pete Green, Jed Devey, Eileen Robson, Sam Weatherill, Clair Thacker, president Stephanie Jones, Frances Pagett, Bob Steel and Sue Briers. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG200318-117TW
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Youngsters have been waiting five weeks to start their first swimming lessons - after the learner pool at Spalding’s Castle Sports Complex was forced to close.

Chairman of Spalding Amateur Swimming Club John Pailing says the club has a waiting list of new learners wanting to get into the pool.

But they can’t begin until the learner pool is fixed after the heating exchange unit broke.

A part has been ordered by 1Life, which operates the Castle Sports Complex on behalf of South Holland District Council, but it is taking longer than hoped.

John said: “We are coping the best we can and using the larger pool and we have been fortunate as a lot of the children are progressing in the shallow end.

“But we can’t start with those on the waiting list until the learner pool is open again.

“We have five-year-old non-swimmers waiting to learn.

“New starters need to go into the learner pool for an assessment, and if it is a five-year-old going into the pool for the first time, it is having that ’comfort blanket’ and being able to touch the bottom with their feet.”

Rachel Fox, contracts manager at 1Life, said: “We are waiting for a heat exchange unit and until it arrives we cannot open the learner pool as it will have no heating.

“It’s with regret that this pool has been closed.

“We are waiting for a bespoke part to resolve the issue but there is a delay with the manufacturer, which cannot be avoided.”

She added that they are liaising directly with the club and their own Swim School customers.

“We would like to thank them and the community for their patience and understanding,” she added.

“We are doing all we can to re-open as quickly as possible. “

Spalding Amateur Swimming Club hires the pool from 6-10pm on Tuesday evenings for all ages and caters for absolute beginners to those of different levels.

They are also trying to engage with adults who would like to learn to swim.

The Castle Sports Complex has come under fire in the past over issues with facilities and the temperature of the main pool being ‘too cold’.

But after reports that the changing rooms at the pool were mouldy and rundown, new flooring has been put down and the walls repainted.

However, John said there is still work to be done.

“The pool does show its age, but it has been here since the 1960s and these things do not last forever,” he said.

“There are possibly other pools that could be worse off but the pool (in Spalding) is of the age that once you repair one thing, another thing crops up.

“It is like an old car. You have to keep on it all the time.

“There might be lighting that needs fixing or a ceiling tile missing, or a cracked tile in the learner pool.

“Every so often you might see some dirt in the bottom of the pool.

“If there is anything we are not happy with we feed it back to the duty lifeguard and write to the manager.”

Contracts manager Rachel added:“We would like to remind customers that our other pools are open as normal and for more information about these please call 01775 725978 or visit http://www.1life.co.uk/south-holland-district-council/castle-sports-complex-pool/home/.”

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