Founded in April 2000 the Gay Swim Group, Moseley Shoals, has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the biggest gay sports clubs in the UK. As well a providing a space to ‘splash and chat’, the exclusively LGB club is open to swimmers of all abilities and offers the opportunity for swim coaching and competition standard swimming.
Affiliated to the Gay Outdoor Club and supported by Birmingham Pride they ensure that there are plenty of opportunities to socialise as well as swim, with the chance to head to the pub after sessions, as well as the occasional BBQ, picnic and even holiday.
The group began when staff at Moseley Road Baths encouraged the group to hire the pool for swim sessions. Staff also encouraged two of the group to take the lifeguard course and qualify. They are celebrating their tenth anniversary in Hamburg this year (where a previous member now lives and has joined their local LGB Swim Group – who are hosting a swim tournament). In the past ten years they have attracted members from all over the Midlands, and the world.
Recently the group have linked up with the SHOUT festival which has helped with some Sport England money to introduce coaching on the first Wednesday of the month and water polo on the other Wednesdays. This has been made possible with the support of the Birmingham LGBT Community Trust. Please contact the Baths in advance on 0121 464 0150 to check that these sessions are taking place.
They currently hold three swim sessions a week at Moseley Road Baths. These are:
Mondays and Wednesdays: 8:00-9:00pm
Sessions cost £4.00, and swimmers of all abilities are welcome, although non-swimmers should check that there is a coach available before their visit.
For more information see the Moseley Shoals website at www.moseleyshoals.org.uk
If your swimming group meets, or used to meet at Moseley Road Baths please get in touch, we want to hear from you!
Shortly before Christmas the Hall Green Constituency meeting took place, with its main aim being to find a way to cut the constituency’s budget by £1m in order to help balance the books. As part of this several points were raised which will affect Moseley Road Baths. We should know more about these when we meet with Cllr Martin Mullaney, the Cabinet member for Sport, Leisure and Culture this coming Thursday.
The first point relates to maintenance work which has taken place over the Christmas period. It is hoped that the short-term closure of the holidays will stop water leakages from Pool 2, resulting in £30,000 savings per year in water and heating costs. Additional changing facilities will also be installed, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Philip Morris who hit the news a few weeks back!
Secondly, opening hours for public swimming will be reduced and replaced with extra time for club and group swimming (overall opening times will remain the same). The changes will mainly affect the latter part of the day. Brett Willers, the Constituency Director, claimed that there is significant unmet demand for group swimming, but acknowledged that the reason for the change was because groups and clubs pay to swim whereas most individuals currently swim for free. We have expressed concern at this decrease in public swimming and will be speaking to Cllr Mullaney about this on Thursday. In the meantime, we urge everyone to ring ahead of their visit (0121 464 0150) to check for timetable changes.
Finally, we are still awaiting the official announcement on a consultant’s report into re-opening the Gala Pool. However, we have learnt that it recommends that there should be an initial expenditure of £300,000 to make the building ‘watertight’ with an investment of £9m in 2011 or 2012 to reopen the pool, with the work only commencing once Sparkhill has been reopened. This is much less than some of the claims made in the press and is comparable with the cost of building a new facility. We’ll hopefully have more information in the next week or so. Watch this space…
Please note that this meeting has now been CANCELLED and has been re-arranged for 21st January.
Happy New Year to you all. We hope you have had a good break.
On Thursday 7th January at Anderton Park School Children’s Centre Cllr Mullaney will be attending a FoMRB campaign meeting to give us an update on the situation with the baths and answer any questions you have for him.
All Friends are welcome. The meeting starts at 7:30 and Councillor Mullaney will be attending from 8:00 to 9:00pm.
We hope to see you there.
The excitement is building up to our Memories and Memorabilia Event on Saturday. Cakes are being baked, displays being finalised, videos being edited and posters and postcards are flying out of our hands!
As we are a small voluntary group we’re reliant on people passing on the word to other people. We’re always completely overwhelmed by what a great response we get. If you’ve not told people around you then please take the time to let others know about the event. Full details are here:
We’re also eager to hear from anyone who wants to share their memories, so if you want to be interviewed drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Likewise, if you want to bake a cake or have an unusual costume you can dig out to show us then let us know!