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Sandwell Aquatics Centre will be a ‘magical’ venue as progress continues

The Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which will play host to the swimming and diving events at next year’s home Commonwealth Games, has been labelled as ‘magical’.

Sarah Barrow, Swim England Diving Development Officer for the West Midlands region, visited the site for the first time since before the coronavirus pandemic, in February 2020.

As construction work continues, there has been impressive progress made and the 2014 Commonwealth silver medal-winning diver explains how it felt to be back there in person.

Sarah said: “It feels like someone’s just waved a magic wand. I have seen pictures since but when I last saw it in real life it was just earth and then suddenly we’ve got this state-of-the-art facility.

“It’s nice, it just seems quite magical really – they’ve done amazing. The athletes are going to feel pretty special up on those 3m and 10m Platforms.

“It’s exciting for me as an ex athlete knowing that current athletes are going to be able to compete in a home Games.

“The noise I think the building is going to be able to make is going to really help not only our home nation divers, but just the competition as a whole – similar to London.

“I know there’s going to be a lot of noise for the athletes to be able to step up and really put on a good performance.

“However, this facility is about so much more than those eleven days of sport next summer, as the Sandwell Aquatics Centre will be a crucial hub for diving in this region and I can’t wait to see young divers from across the West Midlands using these fantastic facilities.”

Latest additions

Inside the Sandwell Aquatics Centre after tiling of swimming and diving pools completed

The latest progress has seen both the competition and diving pools now completely tiled, the moveable floor now complete and the steps added to the 10m dive tower.

The foundations for the temporary warm up pool have also been started and 650 square metres of acoustic render has been added in the main pool hall.

Over the next few weeks, the permanent seating will be installed, the pools will be filled for the first time and the springboards will be added, as preparations for the Games continue at pace.

Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022, says it will be an ‘impressive competition venue’.

He added: “It is wonderful to see the latest developments at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

“With the tiles laid in all of the pools, the moveable floor complete and the dive tower steps in place, you can really now get a sense of what an impressive competition venue it will be.

“With aquatics as one of our most popular sports in our recent ticket ballots, with thousands of people securing tickets to come and watch the swimmers, para swimmers and divers compete here next summer, I know the atmosphere in this venue is going to be absolutely electric.”

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