Popular Discovery Bay swim club to shut

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2012, 12:00am


Children in Discovery Bay received an unwanted Christmas surprise when it was revealed that a popular swimming club is to shut after 13 years.

Aqua Gym has run a swimming club at the Discovery Bay Recreation Club (DBRC) since 1998 and has more than 500 members. However, the club told the gym that its contract would be terminated at the end of this month, prompting an angry response from Aqua Gym officials and parents of children who attend the club.

'We do not understand the reasons for termination, as we were only given one 15-minute meeting with the manager of the DBRC back in March 2011,' said Aqua Gym coaching director Erik Chan. 'Moreover, we have never received any verbal or written warnings from the club regarding our swimming lessons in the past 13 years.'

Chan also said the reason behind the change was that the club was asking for a higher commission, which the gym was not prepared to agree to as it would mean charging members higher fees.

'We are only a small business but we've built up a unique relationship with residents here over the years,' he said. 'Some of children have been with us for eight years, f1rom when they were just toddlers.'

HKR International (HKRI), which operates the club, confirmed that Aqua Gym would no longer be working for it. Instead, Harry Wright International, another swimming instruction club based in Hong Kong, would be taking over. A spokeswoman for HKRI said these instructors and coaches came from various countries, and used elite swimmers who regularly took part in local and international swimming contests and events.

'We would like to stress that terminating the service provided by Aqua Gym is purely a decision to better our services for club members,' the spokeswoman said. Over the past 13 years, 3,000 families have taken part in Aqua Gym's programmes.

One concerned parent, Jon Ogden, who has two daughters attending the classes, said: 'This is a wanton act of vandalism on a Discovery Bay family institution.'