THE new committee of Ellesmere Titans swimming club have expressed its disappointment at Swim England's decision to dissolve it following a report into 'ongoing concerns'.

Although Swim England is yet to release the report, the BBC reported on Friday that it had seen a copy and spoken to Titans swimmers about concerns over bullying and 'fat shaming'.

A spokesman for the club's committee – formed after coach Alan Bircher was suspended – said Titans had addressed Swim England's original concerns and admitted it was left shocked by the decision.

"As a new committee, formed in the summer of 2021, we are very disappointed with Swim England’s latest decision," they said.

"We’ve addressed the concerns of Swim England’s original findings and completed any remediation activities required by them. We are shocked given the hard work that has been put in across the club over many months.

"We’ve worked closely with Swim England and Ellesmere College throughout this period to enable our talented swimmers to continue to pursue their ambitions as Ellesmere College Titans.

"As a committee, we would like to thank the interim and new coaching staff, poolside assistants, parent volunteers and officials who have allowed the club to continue to operate throughout this period, drawing a clear line under the historical allegations made against the club.

"We are most proud of our swimmers who have continued to train hard and prove their varied talents competitively. This has been a difficult period for them learning of Swim England’s decision and the impact that decision has on the club that they love.

"In line with the club’s constitution, we will be working with our members to agree the future direction of the club, while minimising, as much as we can, the inevitable impact on our swimmers’ wellbeing and their swimming careers."

A statement from Swim England highlighted that in its investigation to the club, welfare and governance issues were identified, but insisted it will try to help swimmers find a new pool.

A spokesman said: "Key actions were mandated and the implementation of these actions have been reviewed by Swim England and statutory agencies on an ongoing basis.

"Since that time further and ongoing concerns have been raised and, following further careful consideration of all the information available, Swim England (alongside statutory agencies) has determined that there will be no affiliated club based at Ellesmere College going forward.

"We are conscious of the impact this will have on all members of Ellesmere College Titans Swimming Club, whether they are college pupils or local members and we will ensure we provide total support to the swimmers in transitioning to another affiliated club.

"The investigation report was not published for a number of reasons but most importantly to protect the privacy and confidentiality of those who were brave enough to come forward and participate in the process.

"We are deeply troubled and saddened by any negative experiences children have in our sports and it is something we take extremely seriously and will continue to do so."