Disabled swim club faces financial waves
12:02pm Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A BARRY swimming club could be in danger of going under after rising costs begin to put pressure on its finances.
Barry Beavers disabled swimming club – which was formed more than 30 years ago – said its bank balance had sunk to around £2000 and the cost of pool fees and taking members to and from galas has meant this year the club could not afford to take its members on their annual trip.
Vice chairwoman, secretary and gala coach of the volunteer-run club, Pat Finch said: “We are down to our last £2000 plus. Our biggest expense at the moment is pool fees, which we are trying to negotiate with Parkwood, and buses.
“The buses are for the team to go to our Welsh disabled clubs – Carmarthen, Rhondda, Cwmbran, Bedwas, Tredegar, Pontypool, Ystradgynlais.
“It costs us between £360 and £280 per bus.
“These are for galas and then we also have a league swim at four of the other clubs which works out about £600 for the minibuses so the buses come to around £2000 plus a year.
“The pool fees at present cost us £4000 a year so we have to fight hard to get grants in non-stop to keep going.
“We get money from Vale and Barry Town Councils.”
She added: “To put on our gala next year we have budgeted that it will cost us £2000 to put on.
“This year is the first time we couldn't afford our annual trip we usually let the members have a free bus and just pay for entrance fee to where ever we pick but because funds are low we just can't do it this year
“The way things are going money is getting harder to come in and we are so desperate for helpers.
“We are all volunteers and it's a pleasure to see both children/adults whatever their disability to be equal with others in the water and to see them all progress.
“We used to be a small club with only a handful of members and entering galas with just one swimmer at first.
“We then progressed to 10 then 12 and up to 16. Now we have a 30 strong team and they all look forward to competing.
“We are the only disabled club in Barry that comply with the Halliwick Method which is also used by physiotherapists.
“We sent our instructor Chris Economides (CORR) to Hull last November and again in March which he did in his own time, from work, to train as a qualified instructor and assessor.
“We are pleased he passed and he is the only one in Wales to have achieved this National Open College Network Certificate as a Halliwick instructor and assessor we are very proud of him.
“He has been a great asset to our club he has helped bring it back out of the ashes.”
If you are able to support Barry Beavers disabled swimming club financially or by volunteering, call Patricia Finch on 01446 747683, email email@example.com or write to 4, Church Terrace, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, CF63 1ND.