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Swimmers back in the pool after raising £10,000

PUBLISHED: 12:07 12 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:41 12 October 2020

The Dereham Otters squad who took part in the Norfolk Junior League round two gala. Picture: DAVID RIGLAR

The Dereham Otters squad who took part in the Norfolk Junior League round two gala. Picture: DAVID RIGLAR

Archant

A long-running swimming club has raised £10,000 to get back into the water after its home pool announced it would stay shut until November.

Dereham Otters SC pictured the Hudson Leisure Centre, Wisbech. Picture: David RiglarDereham Otters SC pictured the Hudson Leisure Centre, Wisbech. Picture: David Riglar

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Dereham Otters, which was established in 1975 and has 120 swimmers, was unable to return to their home pool when the government eased lockdown guidelines on July 25.

The centre, operated by Leisure Lex and Breckland Council, announced it would not reopen until November at the earliest as it is carrying out essential maintenance and refurbishments.

With £1,300 needed to reach the £5,000 target, which would be matched by Sport England, Ambition Community Healthcare has pledged the remaining £1,300 meaning The Otters have raised enough to pay for pool time in other venues.

Chairman of Dereham Otter Miles Ogden said: “The support the club has received has been fantastic and the donation from Ambition Community Healthcare has allowed us to meet our target.

“Many people have been working hard to keep the club running so that Dereham Otters can continue to offer competitive swimming opportunities to local children”.

“The Otters would also like to thank the UEA, Langley Prep School and Breckland Leisure Centre and Waterworld at Thetford who have provided the club swimming time on a temporary basis.”

As a non-profit making, parent-run club, Dereham Otters rely on funding provided at their main fundraising swimming gala, the Iceni.

However, coronavirus meant that the club has been unable to run this gala in 2020, putting additional pressure on the club’s financial reserves.

To help keep the swimmers in the pool, the club’s senior captain; Molly Monk, set up a crowdfunding page to raise the £10,000.

The challenge was to run, hop, skip, jump, cycle or swim the distance from London to Tokyo, a total of 10,746 miles, the equivalent to £1 a mile to reach the target.

Ross Settle, operations director of Ambition Community Healthcare, said: “Just to say we as a company is proud to be able to sponsor a local club and help to keep it going during these difficult times.

“We hope to see everyone back swimming in Dereham soon.”

- The club is always on the lookout for new swimmers to join and regularly hold swimming trials. For further details, email the membership secretary at miles.ogden@derehamotters.org.uk


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