As unlikely as it sounds, even holding a swimming World Record doesn’t bolster one’s credit when trying to track down pool space for training.
Britain’s breaststroking ace Adam Peaty has just found out that one of his training sites, Queen’s Leisure Center, has been closed by the Derby City Council. With just over 100 days to go until Rio, Peaty and coach Mel Marshall had plans to train part-time at the Center, whose family pool had closed in November due to roofing issues, but still had its gala and training pools open.
Citing that the roofing concerns are worse than originally thought, the council decided the entire center would need to temporarily close. “Structurally-designed scaffolding is required to support the ceiling and roof to allow the investigatory assessment works to be carried out and subsequent repair works to take place,” said a Council spokesman.
It now means that there are no public swimming pools in the city of Derby, the would-be home training ground of double World Champion Peaty. Peaty had been using the center’s gala pool once or twice a week as part of his training, but the closure of the entire center now means that the lane time is entirely unavailable. He now must use pools in Repton and Loughborough.
The council’s closure decision came on the day that Peaty was officially selected to represent the nation of Great Britain in his first Olympic Games. As such, the timing couldn’t prove to be more unfavorable for Peaty’s pre-Olympic training plans.
Says Marshall on the situation, “On the day that we are celebrating the fact that a City of Derby swimmer, Adam Peaty, has been selected for the Olympics, the council announces that the pool is being closed. I am absolutely fuming about it.”
“We lost one pool in November [the centre’s family pool], one pool in March [Moorways] and now we have lost the main [Gala] pool at Queen’s. That is fundamentally wrong. There are thousands of kids who need to be taught to swim and now they are being deprived of that opportunity. We have had meeting after meeting with the council and we appreciate that they are having a lot of things to deal with,” Marshall commented. (Derby Telegraph)
“Swimming seems to have been lumped together with all the other problems. We are a developed country and people should be able to swim. If you can’t there is a problem.”
She added, “Adam grew up in the family pool. If the Family Pool hadn’t closed he would still have been doing training sessions there. Adam joined us eight years ago and although his performances for the club have been the cherry on the cake, there are plenty of others who deserve the opportunity to try to follow in his footsteps.”