Allegations of past sexual misconduct against a former owner and head coach of a Haverhill-based swim club will not impact existing programs at Haverhill High School’s Charles C. White swimming pool.
Matthew Forrest, former head coach and owner of Solo Aquatics, which rents the Haverhill High School swimming pool, has been added to USA Swimming’s list of individuals permanently suspended or ineligible from membership, according to the website “swimswam.com.” Haverhill Superintendent of Schools James F. Scully told WHAV Thursday there are no questions or concerns with Solo Aquatics and its programs at the pool.
“They’re a contract vendor with us just like other groups that rent our pool, they rent the pool. They’ve always been wonderful; we’ve never had any trouble. They’re a wonderful organization that does an awful lot for the community and does a lot for many students who take lessons,” Scully said.
Scully also told WHAV the only impact to the high school athletics swim programs is that Forrest will no longer work at events, either as a scoreboard operator at swim meets or at a morning community swim program.
“Again, this individual has never been alone with any of our students to the best of our knowledge. He’s always been in the presence of the athletic director or the swimming coaches when he has run the scoring system at our home swim meets. But other than that, we’ve never had a problem with him. He is no longer affiliated with the swim club, as I understand. And he won’t be working at our events any longer,” Scully said.
The allegations of misconduct against Forrest reportedly occurred before Solo Aquatics was formed in 2006 and was never brought to the attention of authorities. Prior to Solo Aquatics, Forrest was the senior coach of the now defunct New England Barracudas from 2002 to 2006. Scully added the allegations are “sketchy at best” and he is working with Haverhill police to “make sure that none of our students’ right have been abridged.”
“It seems that this is an incident that happened twelve years ago and why it’s coming up now and the details surrounding this, in my opinion, seem sketchy but nonetheless it is what it is,” Scully said.