Gold medal winners visit Dagenham’s new leisure centre

TWO of the borough’s swimming greats paid a visit to Dagenham’s new swimming pool - 600 days before the 2012 Paralympic Games.

On Friday former paralympic champion Beverley Gull MBE and paralympic hopeful Craig Moate took a look around Becontree Heath Leisure Centre, which is nearing completion. The pool has now been tiled and the fabric of the building is mostly in place.

Becontree Heath Leisure Centre, to replace Wood Lane Sports Centre and Dagenham Swimming Pool, will boast a 25 metre, 10 lane pool, learner pool, four badminton courts, caf�, a 100 station fitness suite and two workout studios. It is due to open in late Spring 2011.

Beverley won eight Paralympic swimming medals and 41 international golds, breaking 13 world records in the process. She was awarded an MBE in 1992 for services to disabled sport and was given Freedom of Barking and Dagenham in 2009.

Craig is a member of the Great Britain Learning Disability swim team and has broken 11 world records with more than 30 international gold medals to his name. He was also awarded the YMCA Disabled Sports Person of the Year at the sports awards held by the borough in December.

Beverley said: “It’s great to see such a fantastic leisure centre and pool taking shape in my home borough. I hope the new pool will encourage many more people to take up swimming and make it a regular part of their lives. Maybe this pool will even be home to the borough’s next Olympic or Paralympic swimming medallist.”

Cllr Bert Collins, Cabinet Member for Culture and Sport, added: “Becontree Heath Leisure Centre will be a great asset to the borough for years to come.

Most Read

“It was marvellous to have Beverley and Craig here to see how work is coming on, especially with the London Paralympics just 600 days away.”