Swim club offers apology to kids

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Philadelphia’s Valley Swim Club has apologized for turning away dozens of young swimmers from a local minority-based summer camp and denies their intentions were race-based.

Jim Flynn says he was at the Valley Swim Club on June 29 the day 65 mostly minority kids from Creative Steps Day Camp were at the pool.

Flynn admits he is the first one who complained to the president of the board about the campers, but denied race was the reason. He says he was worried about safety because of overcrowding.

On Tuesday the Valley Swim Club’s board president said there was concern a lot of kids “would change the complexion and atmosphere of the club”.

A second statement was issued on Thursday:

“The Valley Club is deeply troubled by the recent allegations of racism which are completely untrue.

We had originally agreed to invite the camps to use our facility, knowing full well that the children from the camps were from multi-ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that we underestimated the capacity of our facilities and realized that we could not accommodate the number of children from these camps. All funds were returned to the camps and we will re-evaluate the issue at a later date to determine whether it can be feasible in the future.

Our Valley Club deplores discrimination in any form, as is evidenced by our multi-ethnic and diverse membership. Whatever comments may or may not have been made by an individual member is an opinion not shared by The Valley Club Board.”

Members say two other camps that are not minority based have also been told not to come back and given a refund.

Children from Creative Steps Day Camp reported hearing racist remarks, but members willing to talk to reporters denied those allegations. 

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