'We are on the brink of closure' - Sixty year old swimming club in desperate bid for new coach
- Credit: Gary Martin/ Sudbury Storms
A Suffolk swimming club with over 60 years of history could be lost if more coaches aren't found to help it keep running.
The Sudbury Storms, based at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre, have been based in the town for six decades.
The club is open to swimmers of all ages and has helped generations of youngsters to improve over the years.
"We usually hold four galas a year and we had a big masters Valentine's meet in February 2020 which attracted swimmers from across the country," said chairman Gary Martin.
"We had a master swimmer who represented GB in the Olympics in 1972."
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Despite its successes over the years, the Sudbury Storms have struggled in recent months as people have moved on from the club.
"In February 2020 we had 70 members and five coaches, all volunteers, as well as one head coach," said Mr Martin.
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However, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and rising costs have all had their impact on the team in the past 18 months or so.
"We have lost over half of our members," he said.
"Our head coach has gone and we have lost three other coaches."
The club currently has one main coach, a parent coach and two other coaches who have come from other clubs to help out but whom won't be available after the end of the year.
This has left the Sudbury Storms racing to find a new coach, without whom they might not be able to continue.
"We are on the brink of closure," he said.
The club has tried to advertise on their own for a new coach, with Swimming England also aware of the situation, but so far without success.
"We have already advertised with Suffolk County swimming but we have had nobody come forward.," he said.
"If the club was to close it would be totally devastating and a sad day for Sudbury Storms Swimming Club for all the swimmers and not least to all the volunteers involved in the club who have worked tirelessly and with passion over the years to bring the skill and enjoyment of swimming to many."
The club is still hopeful that somebody with the right qualification will come forward to step in and help the club continue.
Those with a level two swim coaching qualification are asked to get in touch with the club if they are able to volunteer.