Children’s swimming group could be left homeless after fitness club snub

�A fitness centre has been blasted by parents after banning a popular children’s swimming club from using its facilities, which have been the club’s base for years.

The Havering Dolphins Swimming Club, set up in 1999, has been told it can no longer use the Esporta pool, in The Brewery, Romford. Bosses at the health club told coaches last Monday they had until the end the month to find a new home.

Scores of children, including some with special needs, learn to swim or train for galas there every week under the direction of head coach Lynette Dyer.

“I can’t understand it,” Lynette said. “I was headhunted by them and now they want me out. I feel like giving up altogether but will carry on for the kids’ sake.”

‘Treated badly’

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Catherine Barham, whose three children, aged seven, 10 and 14, attend classes, said: “It is such a shame that, in the year before the Olympics come to London, the young children who want to do sport and be a part of something are being treated so badly by a big company.”

Now the future of the club is uncertain.

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“This is the only swimming pool in Romford,” said Emma Arnone, whose son Joshua, 11, has been at the club for three years – and who won a Jack Petchey Award for the sport last week. “We’re all worried it may not be the same if we’re moved to another pool. I live 10 minutes’ walk away so it’s very handy for us.”

An Esporta spokesman said: “Our duty of care lies with our membership and we had received a steady rise in complaints regarding the amount of time and space that this swim school was occupying in the pool area.

“We can no longer host these sessions without a negative impact on our full-time members.”

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