FEARS that Cowdenbeath's aqua gym is fast sinking have been put forward this week by people who see the facility as crucial to their health and wellbeing.

The mix of activists, most of whom who have been using the Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre facility for many years, claimed that the loss of the aqua gym would ask them major questions dealing with health issues such as joint replacements and heart problems.

We met with the activists who said that over the past three years pieces of key equipment had become unusable and had been patched up to keep going or had become no longer available.

Said Marilyn Stokes, who has been using the aqua gym to help with a complaint for several years: "The rowing machine has been out of action for a couple of years and more recently the strider has been out of action while the weights machine has needed to be patched up.

"We haven't seen anything replaced and we are worried that in a matter of a short time we could see the aqua gym close."

Ann said: "There are 20 odd sessions a week and over 100 people are members paying a subscription so it is a well used facility, but bit by bit the equipment is disappearing."

And Lisa added: "We all have health issues which aqua gym work helps greatly and if we were to lose this facility there would be an impact on NHS Fife."

The enthusiasts were warm in their praise for Centre manager Andy Dunbar and his team, at Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre, for their help on a weekly basis and they are desperate that the aqua gym continues.

There was some hope on Monday for them from the Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, who run the Pit Road Leisure Centre, who are about to undertake a repair programme, and a search for parts is going ahead.

A Trust spokesperson said: “Unfortunately there have been some issues with the equipment used for the aqua gym and we apologise to customers for the inconvenience and delay in carrying out repairs and thank them for their patience.

“Our technical team is now responsible for overseeing the repairs and is actively sourcing parts to carry out the necessary work – there have been delays due to the original distributor of the equipment going out of business, but, we have found alternatives".

The spokesperson added: “We understand the concerns of regular users and we are grateful for their continued patience – we do not underestimate the health benefits of the aqua gym sessions for customers and are committed to getting more people active more of the time.

“As a charitable trust, we are committed to reinvesting back into our facilities and programmes – however, we like other organisations are subject to budget pressures. Ultimately, we would like to invest in new equipment and thanks to the support of our customers, we can ensure this expenditure is prioritised.”