Written submission by the General Secretary
of Hertfordshire Amateur Swimming Association
1.1 Hertfordshire Amateur Swimming Association
is one of eight county associations within the Southern Counties
Amateur Swimming Association district. The district has the largest
membership of the Amateur Swimming Association. Hertfordshire
is in the Eastern District of Sport England.
1.2 An opportunity arose for a much needed
50 metre pool within the county/district, but owing to insufficient
funding, with a shortfall of £2.7 million, through Sport
England, the opportunity appears to have been missed.
2.1 The University of \Hertfordshire, its
campus based in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, is in the process of
building a sporting facility budgeted at £16.7 million. It
is to comprise sports fields and pitches, student accommodation,
a sports and social club for the neighbourhood and a sports complex
which will include catering facilities, sports halls, gym and
fitness facilities, meeting and conference facilities and a swimming
pool. Initially it was to be an eight lane 50 metre pool, with
movable floor and boom, with full automatic officiating equipment,
allowing it to be used for all aquatic sports, except diving.
3.1 The site is located only 200 metres
from the A1(M), 20 miles north of London and only a 10 minute
drive from the M25 motorway. It is easily accessible from all
parts of the capital, as well as the home counties and the Midlands.
3.2 Public transportrail links to
both Hatfield station, to the east, and St Albans station to the
west, serve the site and ensure easy access from central and south
London and also from the north. Hatfield is also served by bus
routes from Heathrow, Luton and Stansted airports.
4. WORLD CLASS
4.1 It is a well-known fact that, for swimmers
to achieve international standards, gold medals and world records,
regular training in 50 metre pools is essential. We are very fortunate
within the county that we have World Class Potential athletes
in competitive swimming, disabled swimming, diving, synchronised
swimming and water polo.
4.2 Our young athletes representing England
or Scotland and/or Great Britain have difficult journeys to find
adequate facilities to train in 50 metre pools. It is probably
easier to get to Coventry than it is to get to Crystal Palace,
but both pools require major refurbishment. The athletes and coaches
are spending more time travelling than they are trainingnot
a good recipe for gold medals.
4.3 With the accommodation and other facilities
available at Hatfield, it will be an ideal venue for training
camps, not only at club level, but at all levels of the sport,
saving vast sums of money currently spent travelling abroad to
get suitable facilities.
5.1 The building project has started at
the University of Hertfordshire, but with only an eight lane 25
metre pool planned. It is scheduled for completion in June 2003.
Those in charge of the scheme are talking with all interested
parties to ensure that the complex is being built for the user
as opposed to what the architects etc think is wanted. Although
time is running out, it is still possible to alter the plans to
make the facility more suitable to the needs of the sport by making
it a 50 metre pool. All that is required, even at this late stage,
would be an injection of £2.7 million.
6.1 If London is ever to host a major aquatic
sporting event in the future, additional facilities for the visitors
will be required, within easy access of the capital, for training
etc. A 50 metre pool at Hatfield, with its additional facilities,
would be ideal as support.
7.1 An additional commitment of £2.7
million will secure a 50 metre pool, within 20 miles of central
London, in a good location, and make the really good facilities
into superb facilities, supporting not only the county, but the
district and the capital. An opportunity to achieve a 50 metre
pool for such a small amount would be criminal to lose. Where
else could a 50 metre pool be built for such a small sum?
7.2 Please do not allow this opportunity
to be lost.