Swimming receives boost from Sports Institute

Published 3 March 2001

SPORT ENGLAND has announced a £6 million award to Loughborough University for the development of a £7 million 50 metre swimming pool for high performance training.

The pool, one of a growing number of Olympic-sized pools in the country, will form an important element of the English Institute of Sport and will form part of the UK Sports Institute network of elite training facilities. A moveable floor and boom have been incorporated into the pool design to provide for different training spaces and depths for teaching purposes. It will also allow for easy pool access for swimmers with disabilities.

Work began on the swimming pool complex on Monday 26 February with Minister for Sport, Kate Hoey MP turning the first turf on site. The project is scheduled for completion in July 2002. Funded through the Sport England Lottery Fund, the English Institute of Sport, part of the UK Sports Institute, assists governing bodies of sport and will aim to provide athletes with the best high performance training environment in the world. Loughborough University will become a significant regional base within the English Institute of Sport (EIS) network, with over £21 million being invested in a range of facilities for athletics, badminton, gymnastics, hockey, netball and swimming. The University will also provide a wide range of strength and conditioning facilities and accommodation for sports medicine and sports science services.

STEVE CRAM, Chairman of the EIS and member of the UK Sports Institute Board said: "The Loughborough University swimming pool is the third 50 metre pool to receive funding as part of the EIS network of elite training facilities, following investment at Bath University and the Manchester Aquatics Centre. We have developed an excellent partnership with the governing body and our facility hosts and as a result, swimmers in the East Midlands region will be able to train in one of the best pools in the world to reach their medal winning targets."

Swimming's governing body, the Amateur Swimming Association, worked in collaboration with the University over the design of the facility. David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the ASA said; "We have been fortunate to be involved in this project from the initial design concepts and we look forward to providing the coaching and performance staff to work with our top class swimmers in this spectacular new pool. The ASA's long term strategy for the development of swimming identified a crucial need for more international competition-sized pools and this facility will go a long way towards fulfilling that requirement."

Professor David Wallace, Vice Chancellor of Loughborough University added: "I am absolutely delighted that work is starting today on the 50 metre pool. Success depends on outstanding people - swimmers, coaches and support staff - working in an environment committed to excellence, with world-class facilities. The progress and achievements of our swimmers show that we have the people and the environment. With the construction of the pool, in just over a year the picture will be complete."

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