AFTER coming through one of the biggest challenges facing them in recent years, members of Bolton Metro Swimming Squad believe they are in a good position to build for the future.
The squad has a tradition of producing some of the country’s top talent with members representing Great Britain at the Commonwealth Games and Paralympics.
Amid fears they may have to downsize or go bankrupt, they have reached a solution with the Bolton Community Leisure Trust and other local organisations that will see their training schedule rearranged to make up for the loss of time at the pool at Ladybridge High School.
Chairman Elliot Bostock said: “It has been difficult to give the parents confidence that we were working through the issues.
“The squad brings a lot to the community. We are the only top swimming squad in Bolton but it was hard to take it forward.
“There are many Learn to Swim programmes for children and when they complete it some of them move on to clubs.
“From the clubs, they may want to compete at county, regional and national level. “That is the reason we were set up 20 years ago because the best swimmers from Bolton were going to squads in Manchester and Preston.
“Dave Evitts, who is the head coach at Horwich Swimming Club, was working at Bolton Council and was tasked with setting up a competitive swim squad for Bolton.
“If our squad was not here or had to downsize then some of the area’s best swimmers would be going elsewhere again.”
Bostock believes some of their current members will also be able to reach the highest level such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
He said: “Each of our swimmers are achieving in some way from managing to compete at county level to regional and national.
“There are a small number who continue to go even further and reach the Olympics and Paralympics.
“We like to think that we are giving the kids life skills that stand them in good stead for the future.
“We are instilling dedication, fitness and well-being that can take them forward. We are very proud of all our swimmers because they eat, drink and sleep the sport.
“We feel there are some really talented swimmers here and there will be a number of them who will go on to represent their country. “If they can continue their progress we think they will reach those levels.
“Leah Peploe is one of our members and she has gone on to represent Great Britain.
“We are trying to help them all achieve their goals.
“It could be someone who is on the verge of the GB team or a nine-year-old, and we think we have an obligation to support them and help them reach as high as they can.”
If you want more information on the squad visit www.bmswimsquad.org. uk or follow them on Twitter @bmswimsquad or help raise money for the club.