The Neptunes swim club will rely on the pool in Salmo to help them through the closure of the Nelson aquatic centre in 2015.

Nelson Neptunes push ahead with 2015 season

The Nelson Neptunes are going ahead with a competitive season next year, but their president remains worried about the future.

The Nelson Neptunes are going ahead with a competitive season next year, but their president remains worried about the future.

The swim club will be displaced in 2015 from the Nelson aquatic centre during a $4.5 million renovation that is expected to begin in April and last until December.

The Neptunes asked that the work be delayed until July, when they can begin swimming outdoors, but the recreation commission said that would increase costs and make it harder to find a contractor.

Neptunes president Paul Cowan said this week the club has hired a coach and been in discussions with the Salmo pool society as well as staff from the recreation complex and Regional District of Central Kootenay. However, it remains to be seen how many swimmers they will have.

“We have budgeted for between 15 and 20. With these numbers our budget looks pretty grim,” Cowan said. “We are going to have to do a lot of fundraising to pay for our training space and coach. To top it all off the Neptunes will have no money at the end of the summer, and without a fall and winter maintenance session, interest in the team will likely wane.”

Cowan said coaches are generally hired in the fall, so the lack of money and prospective swimmers will make the 2016 season “a real challenge.”

The Neptunes lost their season last year after a section of ceiling tiles collapsed at the pool, resulting in a six-month closure. Prior to that they had 70 to 80 members ages five to 18. Membership was down to about 50 this year.

The competitive season runs from May until mid-August. Swimmers are only allowed two hours per week in the pool between September and May.

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