Swimming club that trained Rebecca Adlington and Ollie Hynd to deal with major changes

The swimming club that helped groom Rebecca Adlington and Ollie Hynd to Olympic and Paralympic glory will be kept at Mansfield “for the foreseeable future” under new terms agreed with the council.

But Mansfield Nova Centurion SC, which has operated in the town for 30 years, will see teaching time reduced at the district’s two pools as it takes sole control of lessons in Mansfield.

The club has worked alongside Mansfield District Council for three decades to deliver courses in the town.

Currently it is at full capacity and had 64 athletes training in its classes as of May this year – split into three teams.

It remains the only swimming club run by Nottinghamshire Council after funding for the countywide swimming team was withdrawn in 2012.

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However, during this period Mansfield District Council subsidized the costs of running the courses and employed two members of staff to run courses for young people.

This includes a permanent swim development coach and a temporary part-time coach for eight hours per week.

But now the board have confirmed the permanent manager is due to retire at the start of 2023, meaning new arrangements need to be made to secure the club’s future.

Documents released by the council confirm that negotiations have been underway for some months between the authority, its leisure operator Serco and the swimming club.

In these discussions, the authority says there was “close collaboration between all parties” which resulted in an “incredibly positive” outcome.

Under new changes, due for approval on Tuesday August 16, the Nottinghamshire County Swim Team ASA/Nova Centurion SC will assume full responsibility for the Mansfield swim teams from January next year.

However, under the new arrangements, supply will be reduced and the current ‘A squad’ will be disbanded, returning 8.5 hours of pool space per week to local residents.

In total, swimming time taken across Water Meadows and the Rebecca Adlington Resort will drop from 20 to 11.5 hours per week, with only the ‘B Squad’ and Development Team remaining.

Fees will also increase for remaining members in January, while swimmers currently on the “A team” will be supported to find an alternative solution elsewhere in Nottinghamshire.

The council said: “The council and Nova Centurions will work together to ensure displaced swimmers are kept to a minimum before January 2023 by not filling spots on the team.

“Nova Centurions will also provide training and testing for swimmers who will be invited to attend sessions in Nottingham.

“Other swimmers will also have the opportunity to train with local swimming clubs based in Mansfield.

“The outcome of this collaborative approach has been incredibly positive and has resulted in the development of a sustainable model…that maintains the swim team’s presence in the district for the foreseeable future.”

The council’s leisure provider, Serco, also plans to offer protected pool times, free pool hire and price reductions to ensure the club’s financial viability.

And in council documents, the authority adds that the changes will lead to its own budget savings.

He has previously subsidized the running costs of the club – projecting £44,881 for 2022/23 – despite fee income generating £41,000. The two jobs planned to provide the courses will also be eliminated, which will allow additional savings to be made.

The board adds: “Transferring the operation of the team provides the board with budgetary savings but also ensures a viable future operating model.

“This will maintain the presence of a top level swimming team in the district, allowing a clear path to swimming development to continue.

“This will help build a lasting legacy, building on previous successes.”

Councilor Andy Burgin (Lab), holder of the council’s recreation portfolio, is recommended to approve the new terms in a delegated decision on Tuesday.

The club has been approached for comment.