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28 Jun 2012
London 2012 , IOC News

Aquatics Centre to become central to local community

The £40m London Aquatics Centre will serve the local area after the Olympic Games, catering for all levels of swimming ability from families to people with disabilities and school children. With moveable floors capable of reducing the depth for swimming lessons it is hoped the two 50m pools and diving pool at the Aquatic Centre will encourage more people to swim more often.

The centre will offer an activity programme including a range of aquatic fitness sessions, a learn to swim programme, coaching in water polo, synchronised swimming, diving and sub aqua.

Not only will the centre be a great asset for local communities and schools, it will also offer visitors the chance to use the Olympic facilities for the same price as the average local pool or sports centre.

Earlier in March, 300 local schoolchildren tested the centre’s water, with swimmers aged between 9 and 18 years old competing in a number of races at the annual Six Host Borough Swimming Championship.

The event, organised by the Olympic Park Legacy Company and Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), gave the community their first taste of their new swimming facility.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said: “The Host Borough Swimming Championships was a taste of things to come. The atmosphere was electric and the excitement of the young swimmers was evident as soon as they entered the centre. We want all local children to experience this when the centre reopens after the Games.”

With an anticipated 800,000 visitors a year, the Aquatics Centre will be a London legacy and a place where the UK’s best sporting talent can swim and train.

GLL Managing Director, Mark Sesnan added: “Not only is this a world class venue designed to host international sport, it also aims to nurture sporting talent at grass roots level and encourage healthy living.”

Together with GLL and Olympic Park Legacy Company, Sport England is currently working with the Amateur Swimming Association, five London boroughs and the University of East London to develop a strategy and usage programme that will allow swimmers and divers to progress from recreation to international performance.

In addition, the Aquatic Centre will also be used to host major events with Triathlon England and British Swimming planning to use the venue regularly.  In March this year London bid to host the 2016 LEN European Swimming Championships at the Aquatics Centre.

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