Louth Dolphins open competition at the Meridian Leisure Centre Louth

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LOUTH’S swimming club will be hoping to make a splash next year when they host their first open competition at the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth.

With the venue now firmly established on the Lincolnshire swimming calendar as hosts to the County Age Group Championships in March, and the County Masters Championships in October, the Louth Dolphins are hoping to attract swimmers from near and far to compete in the inaugural Meridian Meet next November.

The swimming club faces challenging times as the cost of training and competing at regional and national levels continues to increase and a successful Open Meet can help to keep subscriptions to a minimum.

Contrary to widespread belief the club pays for its use of the Meridian Leisure Centre pool and faces an annual bill of over £60,000 in 2013 for all the hours of training essential to keep a squad of swimmers competitive in the water.

With additional costs for equipment, mandatory staff training, and transporting the squad to distant competitions, every opportunity to generate income needs to be explored.

Fortunately for the Louth club there are no salaries to pay with coaching and poolside help all provided on a voluntary basis, every day of the week, 50 weeks of the year.

Whilst the bulk of the club’s costs are met through monthly subscription fees paid by the swimmer’s parents, fundraising events throughout the year help to keep subscriptions as low as is possible.

Nonetheless, competing at a high level in any sport is expensive, and the generosity of the public and businesses in and around Louth, together with grants and donations, are all vital to the ongoing success of a club which competes in the top division of the National Arena Swimming League. With the aim of London 2012 being to ‘inspire a generation’ the club hopes to do just that, and next year’s Open Meet will look to showcase Louth to visiting clubs from across the country and to establish the Meridian Meet as a must-do event on the swimming calendar.

l If you want to find out more, or if you’d like to help the club’s ambition to grow through sponsorship, then contact the Club Chairman Bob Wells at bob.wells@louth-dolphins.org.uk or visit the club website at louth-dolphins.org.uk