ORANGE Ex-Services' Club Polar Bears are awaiting a meeting on Monday to find out if they will receive crucial sponsorship to keep swimming training affordable.
The swimming club, which held its final meet at the Ex-Services' pool on Thursday night, has been given verbal confirmation it will be able to use Orange Aquatic Centre three evenings a week from next term once the pool closes, but the cost has parents concerned.
Stacey Ellice's three children swim as part of Polar Bears, which costs $30 a year each in membership for adults and $10 for children, plus $4 a session.
But she said lane hire would be an added cost at the aquatic centre and there was "definitely" a chance the club could fold.
We just need enough to make it affordable for our members to swim.Polar Bears president Matt Kennedy
"We have Fitness Passport so it will cost us $20 a week, but if we needed yearly passes, it would be thousands of dollars," she said.
"If we had to support ourselves as a standalone club the costs would outweigh us."
Mrs Ellice said Polar Bears' appeal lay in the club's relaxed approach to competition and the lower cost associated with participating.
Ex-Services' club chief executive officer Daniel Perkiss and members of the board attended Thursday's meeting where members were informed the board and representatives of the sports committee would meet with the Polar Bears committee on Monday to discuss sponsorship.
Polar Bears committee president Matt Kennedy did not believe there was any real risk of folding at this stage, given Orange City Council had found the swimmers lane space and the Ex-Services' Club had voiced its desire to see training continue.
However, he said sponsorship was essential.
"We just need enough to make it affordable for our members to swim," he said.
Meanwhile, councillor Glenn Taylor said the case was stacking up in favour of Orange City Council taking on a 10-year lease for the pool for $1 a year.
Subject to support from the other 11 councillors, he said up to $500,000 could be earmarked for upgrades and ongoing running costs.
"If the council takes on the lease, we will be locking up valuable space for 10 years," he said.
"The ultimate outcome is the ex-services' club continues to operate that pool."
Cr Taylor had indicated he would run for the board if the matter was not resolved, however, nominations have closed and the AGM will be held on May 8.
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