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Monarch ongoing problems...

 Island swimmers hoping to qualify for next year’s Commonwealth Games have been left in deep water by the collapse of Monarch Airlines. 

  

 

 The squad of 30 young athletes with the Isle of Man Swimming Club, aged from 12 to 19, were booked to fly with Monarch to Fuerteventura later this month for a warm weather training camp.

Some six to eight in the group could potentially qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast - and the training camp is their last chance to do so.

But their hopes risked being dashed after Monarch went bust.

National swimming coach Lee Holland said the club have been desperately making alternative travel arrangements - but the group was £7,500 out of pocket because the travel insurance does not cover an airline going bust.

Nine of the youngest athletes will now be flying out from Glasgow while the others will be travellling from Prestwick to Lanzarote and then getting the ferry to Fuerteventura.

The replacement fights, with Jet2, Ryanair and Thomas Cook, have cost an extra £7,000.

Lee said: ’Ultimately, we have got to get those kids on a plane to Fuerteventura. We’ve been planning for the training camp for 12 months and this is their last chance to qualify.’

The total cost of the trip had come to £25,000 including the camp and accommodation, which fortunately were booked separately.

Booking of the flights was made directly with Monarch, with a £1,000 deposit paid in February and the balance of £7,500 paid just two weeks ago.

The camp takes place from October 28 with the party returning home on November 5.

Lee said: ’We had no idea there would be a problem. Monarch was a reputable airline. They were running a seat sale on Friday and then on Monday they went bust. It’s an absolute nightmare.

’I paid the deposit with my own credit card so should get the money back. But the balance was paid by Bacs. Parents have been paying in with a payment plan.’

The coach appealed for help to ensure the young swimmers get out to the training camp - with donations to cover the costs gratefully received.

’We are not going to get the money back in the next three weeks. We’ve got to do whatever we can to get the kids to the training camp,’ he said.

’If there is anyone out there would is able to help, please get in contact. That would be incredible.’

Isle of Man Swimming Club is made of swimmers from each of the local groups - Douglas, Southern, Peel and Ramsey Swimming Clubs.

Anyone who can help can contact Lee on 44 1624 262313.


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