Memorandum submitted by Leicestershire
Amateur Swimming Association
Leicestershire had only one swimming facility
at St. Margarets, Leicester which had the capacity to hold competitive
events at which a large number of spectators could be accommodated.
This was closed in January 2000 at one weeks notice.
Within the County there are only four pools
with six swimming lanes, at Enderby, Hinckley, Loughborough and
Market Harborough. The maximum spectator accommodation at any
of these pools is approximately 100 and most of this has to be
provided on chairs which have to be brought onto the poolside.
At these facilities it is not possible to hold galas for competitive
swimmers with the support of many of their parents who form the
main body of spectators, the competitors being mostly in the ages
nine to 18 years. The County Association and many of the clubs
are having to hold their galas outside the County in pools at
Grantham, Corby, Nuneaton and Rugby when these facilities have
the time in their already busy programmes to allow this to be
There is a pool at Melton which has some spectator
capacity but only five swimming lanes which the County Association
has been forced to use for the County Championship and Age Group
galas in the last two years. Arrangements are in hand for this
to happen again in 2002. This arrangement is "making the
best of a bad situation" which is very far from satisfactory.
The loss of the pool at St. Margarets has put
increased pressure on other training facilities and any additional
time at other pools given over to training has meant a loss of
public use at these pools. The pressure on almost all public facilities
for water time is considerable and any loss of public time causes
some, and occasionally, a lot of resentment. We need public support,
and although our swimmers are also the public some other pool
users to not see it this way.
A new 50 metre pool is under construction at
Loughborough University and is expected to be completed in July
2002. The main use of this facility will be for an Elite ASA squad
and for the university. Although we hope to be able to have occasional
use we do not feel that this will provide for the training and
competition that is so badly needed in the County.
The City of Leicester Council are trying to
build a replacement for St Margarets and have submitted a lottery
application to Sport England which has been rejected. A re-submission
has now been made which we hope will be successful because this
new pool is urgently required if swimming in this County is to
progress. We cannot expect young swimmers to put in many hours
training if we are unable to provide the competition that is vital
to their progress.
Swimming is expected to be a high profile sport
in all the major international events, no more so than the Commonwealth
Games next year in Manchester. We do all we can to support and
encourage the young swimmer but as volunteers we also need some
support. At the present in this County the continued lack of a
high quality competition facility, or even the prospect of one
in the near future, is beginning to have a negative effect on
our affiliated clubs.
We thank you for the opportunity to have expressed
our problems and concerns.
26 November 2001