Peaty looking forward to ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ at home Games

Three-time Olympic and Commonwealth champion Adam Peaty says he’s looking forward to representing the Midlands and Team England at a home Commonwealth Games this summer.

The breaststroke specialist describes it as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ and with the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre just a short car journey away, Peaty says: “I don’t think anyone can get more of a home Games.”

After competing in an empty Tokyo Aquatics Centre last summer, the Uttoxeter-born swimmer is excited about the return of crowds and the prospect of his son George being able to watch him race, something which he says would ‘mean everything’ to him.

When asked how much he’s looking forward to this year’s event, Peaty said: “A lot.

“I love Birmingham, I love the Midlands, I love England and to represent all of them, in one time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I’m extremely excited.

“I think with a home crowd it will lift me up more than anything. I remember in Scotland in 2014, in Glasgow, it was absolutely incredible.

“Not all the Scottish were cheering for us, but some of the Scottish were also cheering for us, and it was great to hear and have that support.

“I just know how it’s going to sound, I know how it’s going to feel and it’s definitely going to lift me up.

“The Commonwealth Games is one of those great championships anyway, so I’m looking forward to that multi-sport aura as they say. It’s going to be fun.”

More needs to be done

Following Swim England’s A Decade of Decline: The Future of Swimming Pools in England report, Peaty has said that it’s ‘unacceptable’ that almost 2,000 pools could be lost forever by 2030.

When asked about the new facilities that have been built in Sandwell, the world record-breaking swimmer continued to push the message that more support is needed from the Government.

On whether the Sandwell facilities will provide inspiration for people in the local community, he said: “I know so. As soon as you get investment in an area then sporting talent eventually picks up, it doesn’t happen instantly.

“But now more than ever, where pools are closing and councils can’t maintain them, we need more investment in new facilities that are more environmentally friendly and definitely more economical as well.

“It’s great to see these new pools being built, but more needs to be done as well if we want to secure a successful nation in sport over the next 20 or 30 years.

“What’s the point in building this culture and this really strong team that we have in British Swimming and Team GB if it’s just going to fall off the face of the earth?

“That’s where the Government need to wake up and dig deep in their pockets and start to provide money and start to provide access to facilities to all different types of communities.”