Swim England

A nation swimming

Olympic champion Duncan Goodhew urges support for local swimming pools

Olympic champion Duncan Goodhew has urged people to show swimming matters by supporting local pools – or risk seeing them cease to exist in the future.

As Swim England prepares to issue new insight on the value of pools later this month, Swimathon president Goodhew spoke of the importance of facilities in an open letter to fundraisers for the charity.

He also encouraged more people who may not have yet returned to the sport to consider entering the Swimathon Festival this weekend and help raise money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Goodhew, a member of the Swim England Hall of Fame who won Olympic gold at the 1980 Moscow Games in the 100m Breaststroke, said: “We know these continue to be tough times but in adversity can come hope and, in the same way that we are all inspired by our swimmers in Tokyo, now is the time to collectively show that we care about swimming at every level.

“I watched with absolute awe the incredible medal winning performances of Team GB in the pool at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

“But as I roared home Adam Peaty, Tully Kearney and co from my front room, I couldn’t help but think about the huge difficulties that recreational swimming has faced over the past 18 months and will continue to face across the UK.

“Pools have had to lay dormant for large periods of time, session capacities and times have been massively restricted and, most heartbreaking of all, young children have been denied the chance to learn to swim.

We want to show the country that swimming matters

“I am so pleased to see that the swimming industry is starting to open back up and that pools are beginning to be able to operate with some semblance of normality again.

“However, the reality is that this industry needs the most important thing of all to make their return properly complete – you!

“Swimming pools with empty lanes aren’t sustainable and now is the time to support swimming and support your local pool; because without you, some of these venues may cease to exist in the future.”

Goodhew urged people to register for Swimathon or Open Water Swimathon to prove the sport would bounce back bigger and stronger than ever.

His letter read: “In my role as Swimathon President, I have felt huge pride and admiration as thousands of you have taken to the water year after year to challenge yourself and raise vital funds for charity.

“We have long said that Swimathon belongs to the swimming community, it is for everyone to be a part of and to help drive everything that is good about this sport that we love.

“We want to show the country that swimming matters and this is your chance to show our nation that we are ready to support our sport and that we will be back bigger and stronger than ever.”

Swimathon and Open Water Swimathon takes place from 10-12 September and further details on how to sign up are available by clicking here.