A SWIMMING club is appealing for new members due to the "devastating" financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Volunteer-run Guisborough Amateur Swimming Club says its future is hanging in the balance due to a combination of increased costs, restricted fundraising, and pool closures.

The club operates from Everyone Active's Guisborough Pool on Howlbeck Road, and has approximately 70 active members ranging in age from eight to over 50.

It was founded about 40 years ago, and during that time, hundreds of young people and adults have had the opportunity to improve their swimming and enjoy the fun and friendly atmosphere. It supports swimmers at all levels, from beginners to national competitors, and many teenage members also volunteer to coach young swimmers.

A spokesperson for the club said: "The global Covid-19 pandemic has seen the closure of Guisborough Pool for extended periods throughout 2020 and 2021. The club has missed months of swimming which has impacted on the current and future membership numbers.

"The usual cycle of younger swimmers coming through to join the club, from swimming lessons, has been disrupted, as swimming lessons were cancelled due to the pool closures. Swimmers were able to swim on a reduced basis on occasion when the pool briefly reopened. Despite the fall in member numbers, the club still needs to hire the pool for the same amount of time, to comply with social distancing regulations. The children must swim in smaller groups, which has reduced the number and duration of sessions available to swimmers.

"The pandemic has also restricted the fundraising options for the club and the annual sponsored swim and other social and celebration events were unable to take place. The annual club championships gala and the local Moors League were cancelled and our swimmers have not had the opportunity to participate at local and regional galas. Unfortunately, this has coincided with increased costs to implement Covid secure procedures, including PPE and providing safeguarding training for the Covid Liaison Officers.

"The club runs on a not-for-profit basis and sets fees to cover costs to remain affordable to families. As such the drop in numbers has had a devastating financial impact. Whilst a very successful crowdfunding initiative, supported by local business did help, the future of the club hangs in the balance.

"The much loved club hope to continue to provide an opportunity for all swimmers to not only reach their highest potential doing a sport they enjoy but also help them to grow in character whist working as part of such a friendly and enthusiastic team."

Anyone who would like to find out more information, volunteer or would like to take up the offer of a free trial session, can email guisboroughasc@gmail.com