New research conducted by Swim England has revealed that almost a quarter of public swimming pools in the country are still closed. The news comes almost a month after pools were given the go-ahead to reopen on July 25th.
SE statistics reveal that of the 1,002 public pools, 223 remain closed indefinitely. Many of these facilities still have a question mark over when their doors may reopen. This is the case for one of the country’s most beloved pools – the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.
Since originally announcing that the facility was being mothballed for the foreseeable, The Star revealed yesterday that a reopening in April 2021 is the ‘best case scenario’.
A campaign took place across social media today using the hashtag #savesheffieldsport in a bid to hasten the centre’s reopening. This follows the ongoing #saveleisure campaign which is seeking immediate financial aid from the UK Government to help support struggling facilities.
159 days and counting without a pool with so many fond memories over the last 10 years. But this is bigger than me and bigger than just competitive swimming, when so many people rely on Ponds forge for so much. Help save our pool. #savesheffieldsport https://t.co/adTxYQ6iey
— Jay Lelliott (@mrlelliott53) August 21, 2020
Above is a tweet from City of Sheffield SS swimmer and European bronze medalist Jay Lelliot. Members of the swimming community have been spreading positive messages and memories from the pool on social media today, including Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Adlington.
This is so sad!!!! I have a lifetime of memories from that pool. Awful for all the athletes and staff that train there. It’s such a huge part of the swimming community. https://t.co/f9Wrbm3jm0
— Becky Adlington (@BeckAdlington) August 12, 2020
Despite the disappointing statistics released today, UK swimming received some positive news yesterday when the Scottish Government announced that swimmers there could return to the water on August 31st.
Chief Executive of Scottish Swimming, Euan Lowe, emphasised that people need to remain patient throughout the reopening and support facilities as they get to grips with the new measures that are in place.