PLANS to close Coventry’s 50-metre swimming pool has been described as suicidal ahead of a gala event this Sunday aimed at putting pressure on the council to keep it open.
Coun Allan Andrews, who organised a petition which has been signed by over 9,000 people, will be attending a Save our Swimming gala this Sunday at the popular sports centre in Fairfax Street.
Former Olympians, Paralympians and Commonwealth swimmers will also be involved in a day of fun and they will be joined by local swimmers, residents and VIP guests between 3-6pm.
We reported in February how a new sports strategy was published by the council setting out plans to build a modern centre with a 25-metre pool which would spell the end of the current Grade II listed building sports centre on Fairfax Street.
“I’ll be attending Sunday’s event because it’s important we keep up the fight.” said Coun Andrews.
“It is already one of the biggest petitions put together, we want to give them (the council) something to consider.
“It would be a terrible message to send out to the people of Coventry that if they were inspired to take up swimming and want to learn they will need to travel to Northampton or Birmingham.
“It would be the end of any sort of Olympic legacy in the city.”
Eight teams of swimmers of all ages and abilities will take to the pool for the gala where the Team GB medal hoard from London 2012 will be on display.
There will also be raffles, stalls and t-shirts on sale to support the campaign to keep the pool open.
Adam Ruckwood, head coach at the City of Coventry Swimming club, said: “We wanted to really show Coventry just how passionate we are about having a 50m pool in the city.
“We all know the current pool is past its sell by date but we just hope the council will find a way to build a modern 50m pool the whole community can benefit from.”
“The gala will be awesome and a great afternoon out with loads of activities alongside the racing so I hope people will come along and soak up the excitement.”