CITY of Oxford Swimming Club’s (COSC) entire coaching team has resigned days before pools reopen following a public fallout with management.

The five-strong group left with immediate effect on Monday after allegations they were bullied and harassed by committee members, which the club denies.

A letter signed by head coach Amanda Booth, age-group coach Mikey Hire, senior coach Zichen Liu, group coach Fabian Whitbread and Matt Croyle, who is lead strength and conditioning coach, was circulated to swimmers and parents.

It reads: “Unfortunately, we are no longer in a position to deliver the coach-led, athlete-centred, and committee-supported programme that we all desired to be a part of.”

COSC are now trying to fill the vacant roles, with their home pool at the Leys Leisure Centre set to reopen on April 19 after the next easing of lockdown restrictions this coming Monday.

The club were due to finish a two-month disciplinary investigation this week into the behaviour of some coaches after swimmers and parents raised concerns.

A letter sent by COSC on Tuesday says that, since launching the investigation, the committee has faced ‘bitter accusations by certain coaches, and had to take action to protect swimmers who were too scared to talk or act on their own’.

The group of five were suspended on March 5 after writing to members, saying they needed to be informed about the ‘strength of feeling of us as coaches and of the health and safety complaints that we had’ and detailing the impact on their wellbeing this had caused.

Further allegations were made and denied by each side before COSC called a special general meeting last Thursday, which the coaches say they were not invited to.

Matters came to a head on Monday when the five coaches resigned, meaning the disciplinary hearings scheduled for this week can only go ahead if any of the group re-joins the club.

COSC’s letter adds that their allegations towards the coaches are now with Swim England, who ‘were already investigating certain welfare matters relating to the club’.

The sport’s governing body did not respond to a request for comment.

It is frustrating for swimmers, who have been unable to train in the pool for the majority of the last 12 months and have not competed for more than a year.

COSC’s letter adds: “We understand the swimmers have all been let down immensely and wish to reassure them that their welfare and happiness in their swimming journey is the club’s top priority.”

Meanwhile, a fundraising page has been set up to help the coaches progress ‘coach-led swimming programmes’.

It has already raised more than £2,500.