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Swimming club pleads for funds to save pool

Farnborough Fins, based at Kings International College in Camberley, must find £25,000 to provide disabled access, replace floor and fund building work

Anna Strong and Emma Butcher at the Farnborough Fins pool building

A swimming club is appealing for help to save its pool building.

Farnborough Fins Swimming Club (FFSC), based at Kings International College in Camberley, needs to raise £25,000 to complete a project to refurbish the building over the club’s swimming pool and prevent it from closing down.

The work is set to cost around £100,000 and FFSC has managed to raise £80,000 towards the cost of groundworks, pipework replacement and a new swimming pool building.

However, the club needs to raise a further £25,000 to install a hoist into the pool to aid disabled access, replace the existing floor with a rubber surface and cover the £5,000 contingency fund for the building works.

The club has applied for a grant through Engage Mutual and is appealing for the public to vote for the project.

Anna Strong, from FFSC, said: “We are a not-for-profit organisation and our objective is to increase the community’s awareness of swimming and to promote water safety.

“The club has a big community interest and has gone from strength to strength since being set up.

“We took over the running of the pool at Kings International College because pools are horrendous to run.

“They’re very expensive and the college could not afford to run it and were going to shut it down so we invested £42,000 into the maintenance work and paid for all the water treatments.”

More than 1,200 people use the pool each week and FFSC teaches a range of classes for babies, children and adults.

Six local schools also benefit from free use of the pool.

Mrs Strong said: “In a densely populated area surrounded by rivers and lakes, it is essential that lifesaving swimming skills are taught to all.

"Many swimming pools in the area are oversubscribed as a lot of local school pools have closed.

“At the moment drowning is still the third biggest cause of death among children in the UK so it's something we’re very passionate about.

“We also have two special needs groups that enjoy free use of the pool and we do a lot of stuff in the local community.

“The pool is fantastic as a teaching pool but the building itself looks like a mouldy greenhouse, it’s coming to the end of its life and we need to replace it at the end of the summer so we are trying to raise funds as much as we can.”

More than 1,000 people have already voted for FFSC to win the £25,000 grant but Mrs Strong said the club was around 300 votes away from the top spot.

To vote for FFSC, visit www.engagemutual.com/foundation/projects/save-our-swimming-pool.

 

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