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‘Unacceptable’ 2,000 pools could be closed by end of decade, says Adam Peaty

Adam Peaty says it’s ‘unacceptable’ that almost 2,000 pools could be lost forever by 2030.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee has been extremely vocal about the need for more funding for facilities, clubs and athletes.

Swim England’s Decade of Decline report published earlier this year has forecast a huge reduction in the amount of water space available by 2030, which could threaten the future of aquatic sports in some areas and leave millions shut out of the activities they love.

And three-time Olympic champion Peaty has called on the Government to find the necessary investment to ensure there are enough pools in the future.

He said: “For me the Government say it’s amazing every Olympics and what we do for the country but it’s also a back hand [compliment] when public pools are closing.

“Two thousand by 2030 is just unacceptable. It’s not even about money in the short-term, it’s more about an investment in people.

“If you invest in the people it’s a huge one because you have a fitter nation, they are healthier and you are saving money and a return on investment through the NHS.

Incredibly important

“Obviously it’s people’s wellbeing as well so why wouldn’t you want to look after that and have a whole stable and emotionally intelligent population.”

Peaty also stressed the importance of people learning how to swim and told of how his son, George, is ‘absolutely loving’ his lessons.

“It’s incredibly important for kids to swim for safety,” said Peaty, who has admitted it’s a huge honour to be in contention for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

“But more so, it’s incredibly important to have a skill in sport and being part of a sport is so good for them.

“George has started swimming lessons and he’s absolutely loving it.

“Being a dad has changed my purpose and of course it’s changed some of my short-term goals but it’s also a great thing you can guide and raise your child into hopefully a great person.”