Award-winning swimming club moves out of Halifax after losing legal battle over town's new pool

A swimming club has moved from Halifax to Bradford after losing their legal battle over the town's new pool.

By Tom Scargill
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 9:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 10:01 am

Halifax Synchronised Swimming Club has been forced out of the district after losing its battle to get the new Halifax Swimming Pool, due to be built at North Bridge Leisure Centre, designed with a deeper deep end so the award-winning club could continue.

Committee and members of the 22-year old club have taken the decision to move their affiliation from Calderdale to Bradford and have changed their name to the City of Bradford Artistic Swimming

The club had previously been based at the old Halifax swimming baths, which did have a 12 foot deep end but was shut down due to the Covid outbreak in 2020.

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The club's Rubies team

Council chiefs then decided to pull the plug on it in 2021 due to the prohibitive cost of repairs.

Meanwhile, the newly named Bradford club took part in their first competition under their new name at the weekend and were crowned Yorkshire champions after competing at John Charles Aquatic Centre in Leeds.

The club, which counts Team GB artistic swimmer, Isobel Davies, as a member, beat local rivals from City of Leeds, Sheffield and Borough of Kirklees to retain the Millennium Cup for the highest scoring Yorkshire Club.

The team which won last year’s championship in the Combo Cup for the highest category, 13-18 years Division 2, Diamonds, once again won gold at the Yorkshire Cup and they were joined by their Rubies team who were named as champions in the “15 and under” age group.

Members of the club pictured last year during calls for the new pool in Halifax to be built with a deeper deep end

Sapphires in the 13-18 years division one category and Topaz in the “12 and under” age group both won silver medals. These teams, along with the Emeralds team in the 13-15 age group all contributed towards the highest score.

The club were also awarded a total of 10 medals for swimmers in the individual figures, solo and duet competitions.

Since the Halifax Pool was abruptly closed without any notice, the club were forced to move their training location to Todmorden and they also privately hired Rishworth School pool. However, this still meant that their training hours were hugely reduced.

Team Manager, Kirsty McGregor, said: "We always knew that training in Todmorden and Rishworth wasn’t sustainable for the club in the long-term and due to the increased cost and travelling time, we have already lost two thirds of the club’s members.

The club's Diamonds team

"Only 36 swimmers competed for us at the weekend, compared to over 100 before the pandemic.

"I am especially delighted that our oldest girls, some of whom have competed for our club for 10 years and now need to leave the junior ranks, can be proud that they have retained their championship despite all the disruption and restrictions we were under due to our training facilities being removed.

And our youngest team members are now showing that they will also be strong swimmers and will help us form the basis of the rebuild of the club under our new name.”

An artist's impression of the new leisure centre in Halifax