German exchange future in doubt

AN exchange trip between Dewsbury Swimming Club and German twin town Bergkamen could be forced to end after a 25-year association.

Members from the club, based at Dewsbury sports centre, make the biennial trip to Bergkamen with children from the German town returning every other year.

At its height, around 40 children from Dewsbury would look forward to competing against their German counterparts over the October half-term and coaches have taken hundreds of swimmers to Germany but this year's trip could be the last.

Although Dewsbury Swimming Club boast around 80 members from Thornhill, Mirfield, Dewsbury, Batley and Birstall, very few are interested in travelling to Germany and the club are now appealing for children to get in touch.

The trip to Bergkamen is usually only open to Dewsbury members but this year the club have thrown it open to children from across Kirklees.

This year's trip will go ahead but funds that would normally be used to entertain German children next year may have to be used to help subsidise this trip and that could mean the exchange is forced to end.

The club are particularly keen to hear from novice or non swimmers from the age of 10, who would be interested in taking up the sport with a view to going on the trip in October.

The club meet on Thursday evenings and coaches are available at poolside in Dewsbury sports centre from 6.30pm or call Sheila Atkinson on 01924 464940.