I often get e-mails and letters from people regarding a swimming pool closing in their local community.
Swimming is an incredibly enjoyable means of getting and staying fit and healthy, and if I had my wish I would love nothing more than everyone in the UK having access to swimming facilities. Every day I train at one or more Council owned and operated swimming pools in Nottingham. To see people of all ages and abilities swimming up and down the pool or splashing around having fun is all the evidence I need to understand the benefits swimming facilities can bring to a community. Council’s obviously need to balance their budgets against the need to develop and maintain many community facilities, but I urge all Council planners and decision makers to go and spend some time at their nearest swimming pool to see for themselves the value of having swimming facilities in the community. For me personally, the greatest legacy we can leave from hosting a home Olympics in 2012 is to ensure people around the UK have access to swimming facilities which can contribute to them leading a healthy lifestyle. And who knows, we may just provide the opportunity for the next generation of British swimming stars to make their mark on the world stage.