Row flares over swim times in Hawick

Teviotdale Leisure Centre in Hawick
Teviotdale Leisure Centre in Hawick

Improving access for the elderly and disabled are among reasons for changes to swimming club times and lane space at the pool in Hawick.

So said Borders Sports and Leisure Trust chairman David Ferguson, responding after swimming clubs in the town went public with complaints about new timetables at Teviotdale Leisure Centre.

But Hawick Swimming Club chairman James Whiteford, acting on behalf of his own club and Teviotdale Turbos, has appealed to councillors, national swimming bodies and politicians, urging support their plea for better pool access.

“The reason we feel that we have been treated unfairly is due to the current offering of lane space and the time slots being made available to clubs,” Mr Whiteford said.

He added: “The current offering is the same as our present 50 ½ lane hours. These new time slots however, are being predominantly moved to early, pre-school, morning sessions and slots around and over tea time on Saturdays and Sundays.

“These are hardly suitable for young children or families, never mind the difficulty we have in being able to coach the times due to work commitments, etc.

“Hawick clubs have been very successful in competitive events and it is unlikely this will continue if these proposed times are forced on us.”

Mr Ferguson says the trust is anxious the clubs and young swimmers remain part of the pool set-up, from recreational swimmers to those wanting higher levels of competition.

But he said the trust had to do its best to accommodate everyone, and the new timetable is designed to address various issues. He added:“These include complaints from local people around a lack of access to the pool in early evenings, our failure to ensure good access particularly to older people and people with disabilities in the town and surrounding areas.”