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Sink Or Swim
Monday 4th April 2016 @ 16:52 by Mark Phillip
Dukinfield News Sports

Tameside Council has officially announced a £20 million investment plan which is set to transform sports and leisure provision in the borough.

The plan was disclosed at an executive cabinet meeting last Thursday between various councillors and representatives.

Active Dukinfield will be redeveloped into a high quality gym and fitness facility, crèche and café as part of the plan, but news that Dukinfield Pool is to close has been met with huge disappointment to those using it.

Dukinfield Marlins Swimming Club coach, Dannielle Sillence, expressed total dismay at the council’s decision. She told Reporter Sport: “I’m hugely disappointed that the council has taken the decision to close the pool.

“It will have a detrimental impact on everyone that uses the facilities, including elite swimmers and Old Age pensioners.

“We feel that there has been a lack of support from the Council as a whole.”

Dannielle has two children of her own that use the pool frequently.

Archie, 14, and Hannah, 12, have been swimming at Dukinfield for the past four years.

The youngsters are just two of the clubs 140 registered swimmers who will be displaced by the plans. Dannielle added: “We currently train three times a week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“Normally, we would have a break over Summer, but we’re looking at organising some training sessions at other pool around the borough after the summer break.

“The most important thing is that we keep providing coaching for the children, regardless of the situation.”

The Marlins have produced some fantastic swimmers over the years, including internationally acclaimed athlete Liam Selby.

Liam – Double European Junior silver medallist and six time National medallist – offered his thoughts on the closure.

In a message on a Youtube video, the 23-year-old said: “After hearing about the proposed recent closure of the pools in the Tameside area, especially Dukinfield, I felt it was necessary to write regarding the impact the local pools have had on my life.

“When I was six years old I started swimming at Dukinfield Pool with Dukinfield Marlins Swimming Club and fondly remember my first Gala – Marlins v Ashton Swimming Club.

“After a number of years of swimming at Dukinfield, I was given the opportunity to develop my love for swimming further at Stockport Metro Swimming Club.

“I am now 23, still competing and can proudly say I have represented Great Britain and become National Swimming Champion.

“It concerns me that by removing the platform – which was so valuable to me and I’m sure many other people – will leave a hole in the community and possibly prevent other children from having the same opportunities I have had.

“Swimming at Dukinfield helped to shape my life and played a big part in which I am today, something I will be forever grateful for and indebted to.”

Responding to Cllr John Taylor’s suggestion that clubs should amalgamate, Danielle said: “We’ve not discussed it at club level yet, but anything that’s good for swimming as a whole should be considered.

“I don’t believe the intention is to remove the individual clubs, more an opportunity to provide swimmers from all squads with extra training.

“The situation is upsetting, but we have to remain positive and hope for the best.”