A spark of hope is emerging in what otherwise may have been a pool of darkness, as storied British aquatic facility Ponds Forge International Sports Centre may yet re-open.
Last month we reported how Ponds Forge was set to be shuttered indefinitely. At the time, the not-for-profit-management company which runs the property, Sheffield City Trust (SCT), said the financial implication of the coronavirus pandemic was forcing the organization to make some difficult decisions.
Flash forward several weeks and Sheffield Council has revealed its intention to open Ponds Forge again, pending a formal vote during its cabinet meeting on September 23rd.
Since the original non-reopening announcement in August, swim and dive clubs got to work, submitting plans to Sheffield Council and MPs across the region relaying the devastating impact Ponds Forge’s closure would render on athletes.
Upon hearing the potential opportunity to train once again at the world-class facility, City of Sheffield Diving Club coach Tom Owens said, “It feels a bit too good to be true at the minute, we were gearing up to go into this scrutiny meeting this afternoon where we were going to ask a question, link to our proposals and wait to see what the lay of the land was.
“Because since the proposal went in last week I haven’t had much of a discussion with any of the councillors who I think are in decision making positions. But if they are not only reopening it for us but have found the funds to reopen it for everyone, then that is truly the best case scenario we could have hoped for.” (The Star)
The Facebook post below contains the statement from Sheffield City Council as follows:
“We know how important Pond’s Forge is to the city’s sporting excellence and our wider communities and the only barrier to have it reopen has been the financial position caused by the [coronavirus] pandemic and continued restrictions on gatherings.
“We are facing a constantly evolving situation in dealing with re-opening all of our services and facilities.
“We will be working with local groups that have come forward as discussions have already been ongoing between them and Sheffield International Venues around exactly how much support is needed. However, we feel that if the venue is to be opened it is only right that it should be available for all of the public as well as supporting some of our sports clubs and elite athletes.”
PONDS FORGE TO REOPEN Sheffield City Council Cabinet has instructed council officers to bring a report to September’s…