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‘I loved it so much’... outdoor pool users voice delight at being back in the water

As outdoor swimming pools opened for the first time at the weekend since the coronavirus lockdown began in March, swimmers were excited to return to the water.

With some warm weather and Covid-19 precautions in place, a small number of outdoor pools were able to open up for swimmers.

The Government announcement to say that outdoor pools could begin reopening from Saturday 11 July, with indoor facilities to begin opening from Saturday 25 July, came only 37 hours prior.

The pools that were ready to open their doors on such short notice were London-based pools, Charlton Lido and Parliament Hill Lido, Lincolnshire’s Jubilee Park Woodhall Spa and Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool in Gloucestershire.

Swimmers in attendance at the facilities voiced their delight at being able to get back in the water.

Taking to social media, one wrote: “Lido swimming: nothing compares. Thank you @Charltonlido for a safe and fabulous return to the pool (wish I lived nearer – your lido truly rocks!)”

Jo Gambell said: “Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you @charltonlido for opening again today and giving us such a safe and happy swim experience. I loved it so much.”

Linda Campbell, who swam at Jubilee Park, said: “It is amazing… congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen…loved my swim there tonight.”

Another wrote: “Well done to all involved fantastic to see the pool up and running. Fingers crossed the rest of the season is beautiful sunshine.”

More outdoor pools are due to open in the coming weeks although a number have already stated that they will be unable to open until 2021.

The case may be similar for many indoor pools, and this is why Swim England is urging the Government to provide funding for the sector.

In a recent update, Chief Executive Jane Nickerson explained that pools are ‘vital’.

She said: “While we should all be looking forward to returning to the water after the Government gave the go ahead for pools to reopen, many people will still be left frustrated as their pool remains closed.

“That’s something that fills us all at Swim England with extreme sadness – and something that we can’t simply sit back and let happen.

“Swimming pools are vital … more so than ever before.

“We’ll continue to lobby the Government to invest in pools, to find the vital funds that can help save the facilities that are at the heart of communities.”

Picture credit: Jubilee Park Woodhall Twitter.

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