Mother’s anger at changes affecting young swimmers

Anna and Theo Geileskey.   Bury Leisure Centre has changed its timetable & it's now not possible for young children to swim during the week.
Anna and Theo Geileskey. Bury Leisure Centre has changed its timetable & it's now not possible for young children to swim during the week.
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A family have been left ‘outraged’ by timetable changes at a leisure centre which restrict young children from swimming after school.

Anna Geileskey, four, and brother Theo, five, began mid-week swimming after their mother, Sarah, noticed - from swimming lessons they started in September - that they were not as confident in the water as she would have liked.

She said: “A mid-week visit had become a part of our routine since we noticed the children were lacking confidence in the water - one half an hour lesson once a week is not frequent enough for them to overcome this fear.”

But, last Thursday, the family from Westley got changed into their swimming clothes as usual and went along to Abbeycroft Leisure, in Bury St Edmunds, to find the pirate pool in darkness.

Mrs Geileskey, 39, was informed that the timetable had been changed three days earlier.

“After completing a comment card, we left - my daughter in tears and my son asking why he was not allowed to swim,” she said.

Simon Ginders-Coxshall, general manager at Abbeycroft, said the 4-6pm swimming sessions for autumn/winter had not been well used and that the swimming pool timetables were changed regularly and advertised in advance.

Mrs Geileskey said: “One reason we chose to go at that time is because it is quiet and, if you’ve got nervous swimmers, having people all around you can cause more problems.”

Mr Ginders-Coxshall pointed out there was a 4-5pm session every Friday in the main pool for general swimming, adding that the changes made had now been reviewed.

He said: “In light of the small number of responses we have had from customers on the timetable change, we have brought forward the planned review of the new timetable.

“We will be re-introducing a 4-6pm session one evening a week during the winter, on a trial basis. We hope customers will take advantage of this session and we will review the number of people who take up this opportunity.”