Archive for August, 2007


Friday, August 17th, 2007


Alec Ward, Chief Coach, had called the meeting following yet another confrontation with staff at Holmfirth Swimming Pool concerning the methods of teaching the Club was adopting. This last confrontation was quite aggressive and extremely upsetting.

Alec explained that we are an Amateur Club and are not part of Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) or Kirklees Council.

We started the Club approximately 30 years ago. We are run by a Committee, who are elected at the Club AGM, most of the current committee were also Coaches. The Committee has only one member who has a child swimming with the club. The Coaches are elected at the AGM, they are unpaid and most have 20+ years experience with the Club and all are qualified teachers. We do have several teenage members who are currently in training to be coaches.

The Swimming Club’s initial agreement was with Kirklees Council and during all the years with the Council we had not experienced any problems. When the Council “sold” the pool to Kirklees Active Leisure the problems started. We have been confronted with many problems, all of which we have done our best to overcome.

The purpose of the meeting was to develop an “exit strategy” as most of the current coaches were looking to “retire/reduce their current commitment” in the not too distant future.

We had several members of the meeting who volunteered to be co-opted on the Committee these being

Joanne Taylor
Anne Tunnicliffe
Adele Szoradi
Jane Morrow
Mary Greenwood
Victoria Hobson

We also had the following people who offered to undergo training to become Swimming Coaches

Julia Stoddart
Joanne Taylor
Lauren Armitage
Adel Szoradi

These four would start shadowing the current coaches first and we would look into the various training courses. Brian McLean, the Club President was going to look into funding for the training of these people.

Roger Greenwood volunteered to become our Liaison Officer. He will be endeavouring to resolve the situation with KAL
With all the above measures in hand we would discuss the future of the club in depth at the AGM which will be at the White Hart, Holmfirth at 8.00 on the 12 November 2007.

Brian was going to prepare an action plan for the Club.

Members present thanked the Swimming Coaches for their dedication. The current committee were very grateful for the support we are receiving from parents.

If you missed the meeting and would like to become a Committee member or a coach please let Yvonne or Alec know

EGM brief report – 15/8/07 – Roger Greenwood

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

The EGM was chaired by Alec Ward with Brian Mclean & Yvonne Radcliffe

Alec explained about the operation of the club i.e. It was totally independent of Kirklees Council or Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL), the coaches and other committee members are not paid a salary and the club receives no outside funding other than membership fees and weekly charges. The club pays KAL for the pool hire and more recently also for the services of one of the lifeguards.

The pool is owned by the Council, but run by KAL (a charitable trust) since 2002.

The club was formed shortly after the pool was built (over 31 years now) and Brian got involved with the club about a year after that.

The club continues to provide a valuable service to the community which complements the other services available at the pool. It was felt that KAL could not provide the same level of pool usage were they to be given the same time – usually 4 coaches attend each session (i.e. 4 different lessons run at the same time). KAL would have to pay for the coaches and therefore charge much more – this reduces accessibility.

All the recent new “toys” at KAL pools have been provided by a grant from “Everyday Swim”, funded by “Sport England”, which “aims to increase participation by making swimming “fun for all” whilst addressing health inequalities which exist within the area”. The club believes it has done this for the last 30 years.

Alec explained that in recent years the club has come under increasing pressure from KAL, with activities more and more restricted. All the current coaches also feel the need for an “exit strategy” – new members are needed both to run the club and to coach on poolside.

It is not clear why KAL has acted the way it has – some of the meeting felt KAL wanted the club to close, but Alec insisted that when challenged they always say they want the club to continue.

Alec feels the need for a liaison officer to deal with KAL – he is fed up of the petty arguments. Roger Greenwood volunteered to take on this role and try to negotiate a proper deal with KAL, in writing.

Many other volunteers came forward to find out more about coaching – the club will try to support individuals with the cost of the courses.

The meeting ended with a deadline of the AGM in November – by then the club must have some new coaches in training, some new members on the committee and a new deal with KAL. If not then the club will be wound up, something which all present did not wish to happen.

The official minutes will also be posted here shortly.