THE COVID-19 pandemic has hit Carnegie Swimming Club "pretty hard" financially but the club have hailed their members' "amazing" support.

One of the oldest in Scotland, having been founded in 1877, Carnegie has a long and proud history of competition success, and that of individual swimmers.

But, because of the ongoing pandemic and the unknown of how long restrictions would continue, they have had to restructure some parts of the club due to coach changes, and saw a reduction in members and pool time when they were able to return to training in late September last year.

Whilst popular Zoom training sessions, led by head coach, Susan Taylor, have helped generate some income - as well as keeping members fit and engaged - and achieve a better financial position moving into 2021, Carnegie are hoping to find some additional support from the business community.

Ed O'Brien, club president, said that they have some "amazing ideas for sponsorship" as they aim to continue to provide swimming opportunities for the people of West Fife and beyond for a further 140 plus years.

"As one of the oldest swimming clubs in Scotland, we have been lucky and proud to experience the highs from a successful number of years of competitions and achievements," he explained.

"The pandemic has however hit our club pretty hard from a financial point of view and left our older members in limbo about their swimming futures.

"In the first lockdown, we obviously had no idea how long we would be out of the pool and therefore did not collect monthly membership fees.

"It’s fair to say, like everyone else, we were not prepared for the extended duration of this situation and therefore this has led to the need to restructure some parts of the club due to coach changes, a reduction in members and pool time upon our return to the pool in late September 2020. 

"Moving forward, and during this current lockdown, we have been able to provide our members with Zoom training sessions led by our Head Coach Susan Taylor.

"Whilst these in no way replace our pool sessions they are aimed at keeping the young people, fit, engaged and motivated, whilst supporting their mental health and well-being and providing whole squad support during this challenging time.

"We have been able to charge a nominal fee for the provision of this which has helped us enter 2021 in a better position than last year but does still leave the club vulnerable to an ongoing financial situation."

He continued: "As a club, our finance stream typically comes from both membership fees and gala entries.

"Due to no galas since late 2019 and with no galas scheduled yet in the coming year, we will continue to be impacted financially moving forward. Our members have been amazing in supporting our ongoing fundraising efforts when this situation has hit everyone in some way or other.

"We also have some amazing ideas for sponsorship and are reaching out to any businesses that would like to link with us and promote their companies whilst supporting a local sporting charity to ensure we are around for another 140 years!"

Anyone interested in helping Carnegie Swimming Club can get in touch by emailing, and their sponsorship co-ordinator can discuss further.