Bingley Swimming Club fears for future of gala

Members of Bingley Amateur Swimming Club protest outside Bingley Pool in October

Members of Bingley Amateur Swimming Club protest outside Bingley Pool in October

First published in News

The chairman of a swimming club fears for the future of its popular annual gala as the future of Bingley Pool hangs in the balance.

Geoff Killock said the event had been running “beyond the memory” of any of those currently running Bingley Swimming Club and in its current form for about 25 years.

Bingley Swimming Club has about 160 members, aged eight to 18, who meet at Bingley Pool each week.

Although the gala is held at Shipley Pool to cater for the numbers it attracts, Mr Killock is concerned that if the club loses its Bingley home it may be unable to arrange the event. “It’s really, really popular. We’ve got 20 primary schools entered this year and four secondary schools. It’s a team swimming gala so kids are not swimming for themselves. Every time they get in to swim, they’re earning points for their school. It’s competitive, but has a team sporting edge to it,” Mr Killock said.

Under Bradford Council proposals, four leisure centres could close – the Richard Dunn Sports Centre at Odsal and pools in Bowling, Bingley and Queensbury. They would be replaced by four new-build swimming pools, within the city of Bradford, as part of plans to tackle a £7 million maintenance backlog in the district’s ailing leisure centres.

Mr Killock said the gala also supported the NSPCC.

“With the threat of Bingley Pool being closed and the impact that this will have on us as a swimming club, this unique event in the Bradford area is under serious threat,” he said.

This year’s event will run over three nights, with the final on February 1. Mr Killock has invited Coun Andrew Thornton, the Council’s executive member for sport, to the gala.

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