AFTER 45 years The Bridge Swimming Club has taught its last swimmer a lifesaving skill as due to a shortage of volunteers it has had to close.
The club, formerly known as The Redditch Boys and Girls Brigade Swimming Club, was set up by Tom Ryder and the late David Finney to enable everyone the opportunity to learn to swim.
As all the instructors were volunteers the club was able to offer lessons at low prices for children aged five to 16-years.
Over the years the club has taught hundreds of children to swim from gaining confidence in the water in the beginner’s group through to the top group where they were taught the finer points of the swimming stroke and previously then onto lifesaving.
The Abbey has recently re-organised its pool time sessions and the club was allocated a different day and time.
Unfortunately, not all volunteers were able to make this new time and the club has not been successful in finding new helpers.
The Bridge Swimming Club became A Pride of Redditch Winner in 2015 and David Finney won the BBC Midlands Sports Unsung Hero Award in 2016 for his dedication to helping children to swim.
Ken Poyner, the club leader, said he would like to thank all the parents and swimmers, past and present for their support through the years.
“A very big thank you also goes to all the volunteers who over the past 45 years have given their time to assist in helping teach the children to swim,” he said.