VICTORIA Park Swimming Club was told it will have to pay lane fees at Somerset Pool as of July 1.
Despite regularly using the pool, we were unaware that the club has had free access to two swimming lanes for twice a day every day of the week.
However, now we do know it does explain why on some occasions the general swimming public has been confined to overcrowded lap swimming lanes while two or three club members have had two reserved lanes to themselves.
MP Steve Iron’s letter to residents states that the club will have ‘to pay extra lane fees’. But the club is not paying any fees now due to its agreement with the council.
That agreement has now ended, as the club must have known it would, and it is now asked to pay its way as every other user of the pool has to.
These fees that the club will now have to pay can hardly be described as ‘extra’ fees.
We are advocates of swimming generally for the health and exercise benefits it brings.
Nevertheless, if you wish to be a member of a club and participate and the club has ongoing costs then the club members should foot the bill through their membership fees, donations and fund raising.
If the hire cost of lanes is an issue then perhaps swimming club president Leslie Arrowsmith should look into if it is really necessary to have two lanes ‘twice a day every day’.
Maybe it is time to tell club members when lanes will be reserved, instead of a blanket (and to date, at no cost) reservation where club members may or may not turn up to use them.
In closing, we have to say that as swimmers it would be a loss if the swimming club moved elsewhere or ceased to be.
However, in this world of ever-increasing costs the social landscape is littered with organisations that are no longer financially viable.
It might not be right, but it now seems to be a fact of life.
Consequently, we cannot see a case where this club may continue to save costs (or not incur them) at the expense of other users and we have to support the council on the matter of lane fee payment.
ANDREW AND DANIELA COOPER,
East Victoria Park.