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Olympic heroes call for more investment to help secure the next generation

Team GB’s decorated Olympic swimmers hope their success inspires the next generation to take up the sport – but have called for more funding to help clubs and facilities be financially viable.

Adam Peaty and Luke Greenbank were part of the Men’s Medley Relay team which picked up Britain’s eighth swimming medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – their highest total in the pool since the London 1908 Games.

And while they both are keen to see more people join swimming clubs, they said more investment in the sport is required.

Peaty, who became the first British swimmer to retain his Olympic title when he won gold in the 100m Breaststroke, said: “Sport needs money, everyone knows that.

“So there needs to be more investment than ever, to secure the next generation, especially in swimming where you’ve got swimming clubs who have to raffle and fundraise on their own.”

Backstroker Greenbank, who also won a bronze medal in the individual 200m race, said: “From my personal perspective, I keep in contact with my old club (Cockermouth).

Difficult time

“I talked to my old coach and he said after the first lockdown, there were a few swimmers who struggled to come back, maybe lost support. 

“They had to fundraise to open, so it’s obviously been an extremely difficult time for lots of clubs around the country. 

“For our sport it’s so difficult with leisure centres closing and struggling to be financially viable.

“The performances here have showed how strong we are as a team, not just in the pool but out of the pool. 

“The team is full of positive role models, it’s great for kids to look up to. 

“These three [Peaty, Guy, Scott], in and out of the pool, are amazing people. They conduct themselves really well. 

“I really hope that this has the opposite effect of the pandemic, that it brings new people in and gets them involved in swimming.”