Ayrshire Post

Swim chief step up fights for diving facility


Ayr’s new leisure centre could still be a flagship for Olympic diving in Scotland, according to the head of Scottish Swimming.

Euan Lowe, the chief executive of the body that oversees swimming nationally, has made it clear that the fight for Ayr’s diving club and the future of the sport in Scotland is still on.

Mr Lowe made a heartfelt plea to include a replacemen­t for the Citadel’s diving board, the only such facility in the west of Scotland, claiming it could‘be part of the solution’during the pandemic recovery.

He said:“The leisure industry plays a pivotal role in supporting the health of the nation and never more so than during and after this pandemic.

“While we welcome the plans to construct a modern, fit-for-purpose replacemen­t leisure centre, as the governing body for aquatics in Scotland, we have written to SAC as part of their consultati­on expressing concerns that the plans did not include any replacemen­t for the diving facilities at the Citadel.

“This would mean there would be no diving facilities in the west of Scotland. The new centre presents an opportunit­y to become a flagship for this growing Olympic sport that has gained popularity thanks to the developmen­t of grass roots diving programmes in other parts of the country and a strong performanc­e pathway within Scotland.”

He pointed to the success of 2020 Olympians Grace Reid and James Heatly and added:“We have asked the council to give their plans further considerat­ion given the success of recent diving programmes in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. We do recognise that as a result of the last 18 months that the financial landscape is challengin­g however the flexibilit­y of a good sized, deep pool that can be programmed to add value to the community, clubs and sustainabi­lity to a facility.

“And be part of the solution as we help people to recover their physical and mental health as part of the pandemic recovery, while having fun and enjoyment at their local pool. Diving can be part of the solution.”

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