Haslemere Swimming Club has launched a fundraising drive to help offset the financial effects of the pandemic.

The successful club have been part of the community for more than 50 years.

Coach Charlotte Capelin said: “We are based at Haslemere Leisure Centre and we are currently working together to raise more than £15,000 for new racing blocks.

“Pre-pandemic, we were in the exciting position to buy the new equipment.

“But following the financial toll of the past two years to keep our club running, we are now in the unfortunate position of needing to fundraise.

“We are asking for help in the form of donations from our own club members and the local community.

“Our Crowdfunder campaign went live online on June 24 and we hope the Haslemere community will support us in our ambition.

“We have been lucky enough to receive lots of exciting rewards from local businesses and individuals which will be offered in return for donations to our campaign.

“As a club we keep exceeding goals and expectations with five swimmers going to selection-based national events this summer and swimmers picked for Swim England Talent Pathway programmes.

“Other than the big, widely- recognised achievements, we also have four foundation/development squads and a pre-competitive squad, which has more than 70 enthusiastic and ambitious young swimmers under 12 years old – something we class as an achievement and a recognition of the commitment and talent of our wonderful team of coaches and teachers.

“With our talent in the higher squads and keen youth moving their way up, it is vital our equipment reflects our coaching practices and club standards – which it unfortunately currently does not.

“Our blocks are old and rusty – we need to make sure they are wiped down each time.

“We are asking for help to update our blocks to ensure our young and older athletes can reach their true potential in all aspects of competitive swimming and so, as a club, we can give them the best experience and training possible.

“New diving blocks will be invaluable to our younger swimmers. They will have the opportunity to train on competitive blocks with back plates allowing them to become more confident in their own competitive ability.

“New blocks will help swimmers, enabling them to focus on improving their dive technique and subsequently their racing times.

“Our competitive swimmers train to race, but galas can be a daunting experience for young competitors. We want the experience to be as rewarding as possible and confidence is the key. Training on relevant equipment will give all our athletes a genuine psychological and practical boost.

“We hope the community will support us in our campaign.”

For details, see https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/