Round 1 Gala at Basingstoke Aquadrome

The Executive Committee of the NASLS have been informed of a problem which occurred at the Basingstoke Gala on Saturday evening. The pool operators have introduced a limit of 300 people in the pool hall since last season. Clearly, in terms of a League Gala where there are around 250 swimmers, officials, coaches and volunteers to run the gala this allows for very few spectators. A large number of spectators were therefore denied access to the pool hall and prevented from watching the gala. Understandably, the spectators were angry and frustrated but that unfortunately led to the volunteers on the door being subjected to a great deal of abuse.

The Executive Committee were not aware of the restriction before the gala and the League has successfully run galas at the Aquadrome for many years so we were not expecting any problems. We fully understand the frustration and disappointment resulting from the restrictions placed by the pool operators and we would like to apologise to all the teams and supporters who have been inconvenienced by this.

We would, however, ask you to remind the supporters that the League relies on the volunteers from the host clubs to run the galas and without that cooperation there would be no League. The host clubs do try to resolve problems on the night but occasionally, as on Saturday, it is beyond their control and it is important that the volunteers are treated politely at all time. Grievances should be raised by the club representative to the Executive Committee.
The limit of 300 people makes the Aquadrome a much less suitable venue for a League Gala and we will endeavour to use alternative venues. However, this cannot be guaranteed as we are limited with the pools which are suitable for a licensed gala.

We regret that the restriction placed by the pool operators spoiled the evening for so many people but we hope that the next round will be back to normal with lots of noise and excitement for everybody.

Fiona Laing
Hon Chair