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Sheffield swimming ‘desert’ revealed after GB Olympics star Duncan Scott denounces pool closures UK News

Pool “deserts” across the country have been laid bare after Tokyo Olympics star Duncan Scott warned of the “sad enough” closure of swimming pools across the UK.

Of the nine regions of England, Yorkshire and the Humber had the sixth highest number of public swimming pools, with 196.

And 18 of them are in Sheffield. Ten are general pools, two are Olympic size, one is suitable for diving, two are recreational pools, and four are instructional pools.

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Ponds Forge in Sheffield

And Ponds Forge, the largest swimming pool in Sheffield city center, remains closed.

There is a total of 5,520 square meters of pool space in Sheffield, which means that there are 937 square meters per 100,000 people in the city.

It’s five times smaller than the area with the most pool space, which is Rushmoor, Hampshire, where there is 5,450 square meters per 100,000 people.

And Yorkshire has half of the South East’s public pool area. The difference is equivalent to 39 Olympic swimming pools.

The news comes as Sheffield’s popular leisure pool at Ponds Forge remains closed to families after being closed by patrons at the start of the summer holidays. They haven’t revealed when it will reopen.

British Diving Federation chairman Jim McNally said the government’s policy of providing sport for everyone was “in tatters”.

He said: “It’s a situation that is getting worse and worse and grassroots sport is allowed to wither on the vine.”

Swim England said he expects the country to lose 40% of its existing swimming pools by the end of the decade, “potentially shutting off millions of people from the activities they love.”

The government said its £ 100million National Recreation Center Recovery Fund had “ensured the survival and reopening of more than 1,100 swimming pools across the country”.

JPI Media’s analysis looked at all swimming pools open to the public for free or on a paid basis, excluding commercial sites or those only available to members.

There are 1,997 public swimming pools at 1,187 locations across England, for a total of 503,233 square meters of pool space.

A spokesperson for Swim England said: “For everyone to experience the physical and mental health benefits of swimming, it is absolutely vital that there are the right facilities in the right places.

“Swim England’s 2019 Swimming Value Report predicts that the number of swimming pools in England is expected to decline by 40% by the end of the decade, potentially excluding millions of people from the activities they enjoy.

“The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the problem and it is clear that local authorities need short and long term funding for the facilities.

“Next month we’ll be releasing a Facilities Value Report with new information that will give a clearer picture of the problem and what to do next. “

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Department said, “We are prioritizing the country’s fitness and health as we recover better from the pandemic, and swimming is a fantastic sport for everyone. all ages.

“The government has provided an unprecedented £ 1 billion of public money to ensure the survival of the grassroots, professional sport and leisure sectors.

“This includes the £ 100million National Recreation Center Recovery Fund which has ensured the survival and reopening of more than 1,100 swimming pools across the country.

“On top of that, Sport England has provided over £ 8.5million to swimming and diving projects, and over £ 16million to Swim England since 2017.”

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This notice was published: 2021-08-25 06:07:04

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