Dear Bramcote Leisure Centre,

I am writing to you for the first and last time in relation to my 6 year old sons’s swimming lessons with you.
Now, although I haven’t written to you before I have had a couple of conversations with your manager previously. The first time was regarding the ridiculous method of signing up for lessons. Basically you expect about 14000 parents to turn up at 6am on the morning of your chosen lesson and queue up hoping there’s space for your son/daughter to get a vacant lesson. When we don’t get in we are then expected to take what’s left which tends to be about 1am on a Wednesday. Now I’m assuming you’re not a parent but I’m sure you can appreciate sending a 6 YEAR OLD to bed at stupid o’clock in midweek directly impacts bedtime routines and consequently the whole entire following school day. We may as well give them a box of red bull and get them to sit their GCSEs there and then for all the use they’ll be the next day.
In addition I do recall towards the end of this conversation I realised I was talking to someone with no sense of humour as I suggested I’d camp outside the Centre to ensure I got a spot and Mr Manager replied “that’s against Leisure Centre Rules, you can’t do that”.

So, conversation 2 was regarding the complete pointlessness of teaching young kids ‘Butterfly’. Why oh why would you put them through it. And more importantly why would you expect parents to pay to watch their child to flap about like a stunned pigeon and subsequently drown? It has no purpose. They don’t get anywhere and they’re knackered. You never saw Pamela Anderson elegantly glide across the sand, dive into the blue sea and do Butterfly did you? There’s a reason for that. It’s ugly, hard work AND POINTLESS so stop it!

And finally, the reason for this letter? I’ve today cancelled my son’s membership with you. Yes the incidents above did contribute to this decision. Yes the miserable and completely useless receptionist that is about as much use as a left handed kettle had a bearing on our decision but it was the following conversation that did it:

Me: Excuse me. I was just wondering if you could help me.
Lady: probably not (giggles)
Me: Er ok. We are away all summer holidays but we are paying for my son’s swimming by direct debit. How will that work?
Lady: I don’t know. Guess you’ll still pay.
Me: Well I don’t really want to pay for 6 weeks that he won’t be here.
Lady: Well you could cancel the direct debit.
Me: Ok and then reinstate it when we come back?
Lady: Oh no. You’ll have to reapply again.
Me: What? You mean camping outside the leisure centre again hoping to get a space?
Lady: Oh no, you can’t do that. It’s against Centre rules.
Me: ……….. Ok I’ll cancel.
Lady: Really? But what about your son’s lessons?
Me: it’s ok. If I want him to learn butterfly I’ll find a deep lake, give him a dead leg and chuck him in. He’ll look like a pro.

I’d like to add I’d never do that to my child. I have in fact found a nice swimming course for him and there was no queuing and even if there was I’m pretty sure I could have pitched my tent wherever I fancied.

Anyway, thanks for all your helping teach my son to drown un-gracefully. It was worth every penny!

Yours Sincerely

James Bromley