THE Wee County's swimming club is hoping to build back its membership following pandemic and pool closure woes.

Alloa Amateur Swimming Club currently has time slots at the University of Stirling's facilities where training has continued over the past two-and-a-half years.

Anticipation is also building with a temporary pool to open in Alloa ahead of the new wellbeing hub being built down the line.

Jonathan Burton, one of the club's coaches, explained how the team has been focusing on delivering sessions for young people while he is also looking forward to the prospect of bringing the competitive element back once more pool time is available.

He told the Advertiser: “The club has now shrunk in size significantly because competitive swimmers, especially teenage competitive swimmers, they need to be in the pool almost every day and we've only been able to maintain a couple of sessions a week.

“So we decided to focus our attention on much younger swimmers, swimmers that are young kids who are maybe completing a learn-to-swim programme, primary school age, because we are really well set up to take children like that, who need a bit of extra help to start more club level swimming.”

Jonathan added: “If you've got a child who loves to swim and is maybe close to, or has completed, a learn-to-swim programme and can at least swim a length unaided, then they might find our club of interest.”

The key focus is on having fun while enjoying the physical benefits as well, the coach explained.

Looking ahead, Jonathan is excited for swimming pool options returning to the Wee County.

The club's former Alloa Leisure Bowl base had to close with the pandemic and never re-opened.

Proposals for an interim, or temporary, swimming pool at the Marshill Car Park were given the green light earlier in May and it is anticipated work on the temporary structure and six-lane pool will begin this summer and the facility should be operational by the end of the year or in early 2023.

Jonathan said: “The future of the club, in terms of returning to being a full competitive club, we really are relying on this temporary pool being completed in Alloa.

“We want to be as inclusive as possible, it's important that it's somewhere central in Clackmannanshire, Alloa is ideal, means families without cars can still get their kids to the pool.”

And in terms of the wellbeing hub to be built, Jonathan has praised Clacks Council for keeping in touch on the progress and engaging what would be ideal for a competitive setting.

The club's younger children train each Sunday at the Stirling Uni pool, with a chance to have a real race in a real team swimming gala as part of the Forth Valley Junior League, and try-outs are available for those unsure.

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