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Tumut Swimming Club in crisis

The Tumut Swimming Club’s doors could be closed to new and current swimmers if an executive committee isn’t formed.

The Tumut Swimming Club could close their doors to new swimmers and may possibly fold altogether if an executive committee isn’t formed. 

The Tumut Swimming Club held their AGM last week and from the six attending members, there was interest to be on the committee but nobody stepped forward for an executive role.

According to 2018 vice president, Megan Turnbull, the club could very well fold.

“We couldn’t form an executive committee,” Turnbull said.

“At this stage, we could be turning away swimmers next season, or worse, the club could quite possibly fold.”

The previous executive committee of Peter Stiles (president), Turnbull, Trish Day (secretary) and Jeanine Lotter (treasurer), have stood down from their roles for a variety of reasons.

“Some have limited time and others have children who are not continuing in the club,” Turnbull said.

“In other cases, they have been doing it for a while – Peter and I have been in our roles for two years and would like to stay involved in the club but in other capacities.”

As with any junior sporting club, volunteers are the cornerstones of success and Tumut Swimming Club has been moving forward in leaps and bounds in recent years.

The Tumut club had a very successful season in 2017/2018 and have since ratified changes to keep the club in a good position, both financially and legally.

“The club has had great help from previous committees in building it up to be a very successful, well managed club, that has benefited our town and its swimming members,” Turnbull said.

The club’s success has seen an influx of swimmers and as a result, a further strain on coaching as well.

“Max (Hargreaves) is our only fulltime coach and Kristi (Knight) and Katrina (Hargreaves) help out when they’re able to,” she said.

“We had to turn away swimmers last season because we had so many and not enough coaching staff to cater each day for them,” Turnbull explained.

“At the end of the day, we needed to consider the kids’ safety and just didn’t have the man power to manage extra swimmers.”

In previous years, the swimming club had more coaches to call upon and more committee help, giving swimmers a chance to have more tailored coaching.

“We are struggling with coaches since Leanne Turnbull retired at the end of the 2017/2018 season,” Turnbull said.

“Leanne is a highly respected and talented swimming coach and bought a lot of expertise to the club along with great success.”

Yet, in recent times, Hargreaves along with the help of Kristi Knight and Katrina Hargreaves have had to manage large volumes of swimmers in just three lanes.

“We are really calling on families of current swimmers or potential swimmers to get involved so we don’t have to turn away kids next season,” Turnbull said.

“Swimming is such a vital life lesson and our children should have that opportunity.”

The club is calling on the swimming public to attend their next AGM in an effort to establish an executive body for 2019 and potentially find more help with coaching.

“We have a good group of volunteers that help set up and pack up on meet nights but we need some of that help to filter through to the committee,” Turnbull said.

“We are also seeking more coaching staff for our upcoming season; if a committee is formed.”

The Tumut Swimming Club will hold the second edition of their AGM at Club Tumut on Tuesday, June 25, at 5.45pm.

Feel free to turn up and get involved, or email Tumutswim@gmail.com for more information.