A fundraising appeal has been launched by members of Lichfield Swimming Club.
The campaign hopes to raise £10,000 to help young swimmers bounce back after the coronavirus crisis.
A spokesperson said the aim was to secure the long-term future of the club as well as help members get back in the pool as soon as restrictions are eased.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nationally on the competitive nature of our sport, but at grass roots and a local level it has directly reduced the available pool time, coaching capacity and ultimately the number of swimmers that are willing and able to attend to keep our club open and viable.
“The loss of up to seven swim sessions per athlete, around 10 hours per week each, is difficult to replace when they cannot get wet.
“Happy swimmers are fast swimmers and fast swimmers are happy swimmers – we must recover the pool time by all means available and affordable.
“We are fortunate that due to the efforts of our coaching staff, membership and wider supporting parents, we have been able to return all of our swimmers back to the water prior to the latest lockdown, but it is not enough.
“Against a backdrop of diminished numbers, our vision to create a self sustaining, inclusive club that caters for each swimmer’s individual aspirations in a safe and nurturing environment is requiring additional support and funding.”Lichfield Swimming Club spokesperson
To help hit the fundraising target, a crowdfunding-style appeal has been launched, with donors able to win vouchers and other goodies.
“We are hoping to raise £10,000 from this project to secure the club’s future growth.
“We strongly believe that with continued investment and support from our local community, we can offer an outstanding experience for the young swimmers of Lichfield and surrounding areas to participate and compete in the region at the highest level then can achieve.
“The financial support will also allow the club to provide a hardship fund that will allow those swimmers whose families have been hit hardest during COVID-19 to continue to swim alongside their friends and club members.
“We hope to gain the further support from Sport England who pledge to match up to 50% of our crowdfunding target, meaning every contribution will make a huge difference to our swimmers.”Lichfield Swimming Club spokesperson
People can find out how to donate on the online fundraising page.