Rebecca Adlington: Why are we closing swimming pools?

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Image courtesy of Rockybiggs, CC BY-SA 3.0

Image courtesy of Rockybiggs, CC BY-SA 3.0

Read BBC

As British swimmers leapt from the London 2012 starting blocks, they should have been doing so in full confidence.

But their performance was one of the few lowlights of 2012, with the team securing three medals instead of UK Sport’s target of at least five.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves,” said Rebecca Adlington, who won two of those medals. “And there is always this fear that if we don’t perform, we will get our funding cut.”

British Swimming’s funding was, indeed, cut by £4m. But it is not just at the elite level swimming has suffered.

Since 2008, grassroots participation has fallen from 3.2 million to 2.9 million a week, while the Amateur Swimming Association says 51% of children aged seven to 11 cannot swim 25m.

What has gone wrong with swimming in Britain?

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

1 Comment

  1. Mark Ling, Chairman The Broomhill Pool Trust on

    Broomhill Pool Trust own survey shows:

    • 100% of Ipswich (non-fee) paying secondary Schools have NO on site swimming facilities
    • 44% of Ipswich’s secondary Schools never had swimming facilities.
    • A further 56% of Ipswich’s secondary Schools lost swimming facilities in the last 30 years.
    • Only three of Ipswich secondary Schools have access to their own on site swimming facility, two are fee paying High schools & one is special needs.

    • 68% of Ipswich’s Junior/Primary Schools do NOT have on site swimming facilities
    • 24% of Ipswich’s Junior & Primary Schools never had swimming facilities.
    • A further 44% of Ipswich’s Junior & Primary Schools lost swimming facilities in the last 30 years.
    • Only 32% of Ipswich Junior & Primary Schools have access to their own on site swimming facility.

    Pools Gone

    Claydon High
    Kesgrave High
    Northgate High
    Thurleston High
    Westbourne High

    Britannia Junior
    Castle Hill Junior
    Chantry Junior
    Cliff Lane
    Dale Hall Junior
    Gorseland Primary
    Hill Side Junior (not in use)
    Kesgrave Juniors
    Priory Heath Junior
    Ranlaegh Junior
    Rosehill Juniors
    St Mark’s
    St Margaret’s
    Sidegate Junior
    Sproughton Primary
    Whitton Junior

    Pools still

    Ipswich School
    Ipswich High School (Woolverstone)
    Thomas Wolsey (no access for Thurleston High)

    Clifford Road
    Gusford
    Halifax Junior
    Handford Hall
    Moreland Junior
    Murrayfield Junior
    Rushmere Hall
    St Johns Junior
    St Helen’s
    Sidegate Junior
    Willows (Downing) Primary
    Whitehouse Junior

    Never had a Pool

    Chantry High
    Copleston High
    Nacton High (Hollywells)
    Stoke High

    Brokehall Junior
    Pipers Vale
    Ravenswood Junior
    St Albans High
    St Mary’s Junior
    St Matthew’s Junior
    St Pancreas Junior
    Springfield Junior
    Sprites Juniors

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