Award-winning swim club leaves Halifax after losing legal battle over city’s new swimming pool

The Halifax Synchronized Swimming Club was forced out of the district after losing its battle to secure Halifax’s new swimming pool, to be built at the North Bridge Leisure Centre, designed with a deeper end so the award-winning club can continue.

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

The club was previously based at the old Halifax Pools, which had a 12ft deep end, but were closed due to the Covid outbreak in 2020.

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The club’s Rubis team

Council chiefs then decided to disconnect it in 2021 due to the prohibitive cost of repairs.

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

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

The team that won last year’s championship in the Combo Cup for the highest category, 13-18 year olds, Division 2, Diamonds, won gold again at the Yorkshire Cup and they were joined by their Rubies team which was named the “15 and under” champion.

Club members pictured last year during calls for the new pool in Halifax to be built with a deeper deep end

Sapphires in the first 13-18 age group 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 to the highest score.

The club also received a total of 10 medals for swimmers in the individual, solo and duet figure competitions.

As the Halifax swimming pool was abruptly closed without notice, the club were forced to move their training venue to Todmorden and they also privately hired the Rishworth School swimming pool. However, this still meant that their training hours were significantly reduced.

Team manager Kirsty McGregor said: “We have always known that training at Todmorden and Rishworth was not viable for the club in the long term and due to the increased cost and time of displacement, we have already lost two thirds of the members of the club.

Club Diamond Team

“Only 36 swimmers competed for us this weekend compared to over 100 before the pandemic.

“I am particularly delighted that our oldest girls, some of whom have competed for our club for 10 years and are now due to leave the junior ranks, can be proud to have retained their championships despite all the disruption and restrictions we have endured in reason our training facilities are removed.

And our younger team members are now showing that they will be good swimmers too and will help us lay the foundations for rebuilding the club under our new name.

Artist’s impression of the new recreation center in Halifax