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Sport / Grant given as swimming association looks to replace electronic timing system

The Clickimin swimming pool. Photo: SRT

SHETLAND Swimming Association has been granted more than £1,600 from Lerwick Community Council as it looks to replace the electronic timing system at the Clickimin Leisure Complex.

Its funding application said the current pads and connecting wires are more than 12 years old and have become unreliable.

It added that the current system was provided by Clickimin operator Shetland Recreational Trust (SRT), but it has confirmed it will not provide a replacement.

However, the SRT would store the equipment without charge and help to set it up when it is used.

The association has applied to Shetland Community Benefit Fund through the Viking Energy wind farm advance grant scheme for a total of £19,703.

The total project cost is more than £28,000, and existing sponsors have committed £5,000.

The association said discussions with other organisations like the SIC and HIE have confirmed no similar funding is available.

The application said it is a “matter of time” before the current system becomes unusable.

“It may still be possible to hold some swimming events if that happens, but it will be difficult due to the considerable additional volunteer numbers required,” it said.

“The loss will put the sport of swimming in Shetland back more than a decade.

“Unreplaced failure of the existing system will effectively rule out invitational events such as the inter-county, junior inter-county or Island Games events.”

The new timing system would include an LED start light, introducing new support for visually impaired swimmers.

Applications to the community benefit scheme are decided by community councils.

The swimming application was submitted to 12 community councils, with registered swimmers present in almost all areas from Unst to Fair Isle.

With the Clickimin located in its area, the request to Lerwick Community Council was £5,771.

However, the organisation does not have that amount remaining in its community benefit fund balance.

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At a meeting of the community council on Monday chairman Jim Anderson proposed to give one twelfth of the total benefit fund ask, which he said amounted to £1,650.

Once the Viking Energy wind farm starts producing electricity later this year, the main grant scheme will kick in – with a separate fund due to be created for Shetland-wide funding applications which will be decided centrally.

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