Why swimming pools deserve investment and better planning after Olympics – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Valerie Steele, Halifax.

I WAS disappointed to read about the plans for a new pool at North Bridge Leisure Centre in Halifax (The Yorkshire Post, August 24).

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It appears that our council is planning to replace the Halifax swimming pool on Huddersfield Road, which was so badly planned that it served the people of Calderdale for less than 60 years, with another short term “solution” that will offer limited opportunities for a wide range of swimming experiences.

Olympic champion Adam Peaty held a swimming clinic in Harrogate this week.

It is difficult to believe that the proposals have been developed from a strategic perspective; the ongoing pandemic has shown the value many people place on access to swimming facilities to support their health and wellbeing. The importance of ensuring that children and others can learn to swim, both for enjoyment and safety, is also crucial.

The strategic link between health and leisure/sports activities should be a central tenet for the council when leisure facilities are planned. Similarly, the council should ensure that the main pool in Calderdale can be used for competitive sport, both training and competition.

Surely, even in financially difficult times, the council should plan and find ways of funding a pool facility that can be used by Calderdale’s residents over the next 100-plus years and incorporate diving, synchronised swimming, water polo, competitive swimming, water-based exercise and leisure activities.

It is wrong and extremely short-sighted of the council to opt for a low-cost solution that will force clubs such as synchronised swimming and diving to either stop or move outside the borough.

Olympic champion Adam Peaty during a swimming clinic in Harrogate this week.

Halifax residents deserve better. The new Halifax pool should be as deep as the old one.

From: Paul Walker, Featherstone.

I AM very dismayed with regard to our local MPs and councillors wasting our finances on crazy schemes. For example, they have closed Knottingley, Castleford and Pontefract swimming baths.

Then they have had a private company build a new one in Pontefract Park, meaning people will have to travel further to access a pool. When I was a youngster I could access my local swimming baths anytime I wanted, but now you have to make yourself a member and I believe there is a 1,000-plus waiting list to join.

From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.

GREAT coverage on the importance of swimming lessons and the example set by Team GB’s Olympians – but what hope do we have of making progress when Gavin Williamson remains in charge of the Department for Education?

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