Coaching carousel leaves Gympie swim club high and dry
SWIMMING: Gympie swimming club members have been left without a permanent coach for the last three months amid Belgravia Leisure's struggles to find a permanent replacement to lead training sessions at the Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre.
The Gympie Gold Fins held their first summer sign-on day at the Gympie Regional Council-owned and Belgravia-managed ARC last week, but a coaching carousel has led some members to go as far as Eumundi for training since most recent fill-in Sonia Cranston resigned from the job.
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Gold Fins president Dee White said Ms Cranston had stepped in to replace previous coach Rob West, who relocated to Cotton Tree three months ago.
Ms White said the club had been hard-pressed to find alternative operational strategies and described the situation as "extremely frustrating”.
"It's been musical chairs recently, we're in a position where we feel like we don't have a home ground,” Ms White said.
"There are no honour boards or club memorabilia at the pool either.
"A Gold Fins group has been training at Eumundi, but some club members can't because it's too much of an imposition to travel for an hour each way.
"We've got state and national level swimmers with no coach and no resolution for three months.
"It's like a nail in the coffin.”
Ms White said she wanted Gold Fins and Belgravia to maintain a positive working relationship, and confirmed the club had since started running training operations under new fill-in coach Olivia Carlson.
Both council and Belgravia released statements confirming the latter was responsible for all management of the ARC, including the "employment and salary of the Gympie ARC squad coach”.
Belgravia could not commit to an exact timeline for supplying Gold Fins with a new coach in their statement.
"Belgravia Leisure understands that squad coaches by default have a role to play with the resident swim club Gold Fins, and is supportive of this,” a statement from Belgravia reads.
"Access to the facility for Gold Fins Swim Club was outlined in the specification document included in the tender for management of Gympie ARC. Belgravia Leisure is currently recruiting for a Gympie ARC squad coach due to a recent resignation and aims to have a replacement for the Gympie community as soon as possible.”
The second Gold Fins sign-on day will be Thursday, October 11, 3.30-7.30pm at the ARC.