Dear members

Thank you for all of the responses to the Google Form circulated on 1st March requesting parents/carers to confirm whether their school-age A, B and C squad swimmers wish to return to training once Ilkley pool reopens.

Unfortunately some disappointing news regarding the reopening of Ilkley pool:

Contrary to what we had understood (even contrary to recent social media posts from Bradford Swimming listing Monday 26th April as the expecting reopening date) we have been advised by Bradford Council that the actual reopening date of the pool has not been fixed yet but hopefully should be sometime during May.  The date of 26th April which has appeared on social media is apparently the date when they expect the contractors to leave the site.  As a club we have expressed our frustration to the council at the tiling works not already having been completed during the 13 months in which the pool has already been closed to date and that owing to the lack of alternative provision, Ilkley Swimming Club remains the only club under the Bradford Swimming umbrella not to have been able to make a meaningful return to training during the periods in which council pools have been open during the course of the pandemic.

We have been working hard behind the scenes to arrange the returning swimmers into sub-groups according to Covid restrictions on numbers and we were due to be contacting members this week as to the days and times of their two allocated sessions each week (on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays at Ilkley pool and/or Fridays at Eccleshill pool).  We are pencilled in to start Friday sessions at Eccleshill from 30th April and those swimmers who have been allocated to this session will be contacted first regarding specific arrangements.  Please note that if your child swam at Eccleshill in December, it does not automatically mean that they will be swimming there again, i.e. please only turn up if you receive a specific e-mail confirming that your child will be swimming there from end of April!  

Further communications regarding sessions at Ilkley pool will then follow to all swimmers once we are able to confirm start dates.  

In relation to waterpolo, progress has been made with Ilkley pool on this: as and when the pool reopens, waterpolo training can resume on Wednesdays subject to Covid restrictions on numbers, etc.  The waterpolo team will be in touch with waterpolo members directly with more details on this.

The committee has also been considering the monthly membership fees which will be reintroduced for returning swimmers and waterpolo players when Ilkley pool reopens (Eccleshill sessions will be on a monthly pay-as-you-go basis in the meantime, as was the case in December).  Owing to Covid restrictions on the number of swimmers/players allowed in the pool at once, yet no corresponding reduction in pool hire and lifeguarding costs, it has been calculated that the club will be running at a loss of c. £1,000 per month if no increases are made to membership fees.  Although the decision has been taken by the committee not to increase membership fees in the immediate term – there being funds in the club bank account which can reasonably be used to bear the loss for the first two months once Ilkley pool reopens  – we wanted to give members plenty of warning that if the government does not remove restrictions from 21 June, a review of membership fees unfortunately is going to have to be undertaken which is likely to result in an increase to members.

We are sorry not to be the bearers of more positive news, but fingers crossed that will come soon in the form of a confirmed reopening date for Ilkley pool and good news from Boris as to the wider lifting of restrictions from 21 June!

With best wishes

Alison Schmidt

ISC Covid Officer