Olympic champion praises leisure centre's 'ground-breaking' new 50m swimming pool
PUBLISHED: 16:55 28 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 28 January 2019
Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington helped launch an innovative new 50m pool at Becontree Heath Leisure Centre.
The swimmer, who won two gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games, was joined by Olympic medallists Joanne Jackson and Steve Parry, Commonwealth champion James Goddard and Olympians Grant Turner and Craig Figes at Saturday’s launch.
And the 29-year-old from Mansfield feels the £2million pool will be a huge boost for the borough of Barking and Dagenham.
“It’s massively important, for myself being a swimmer and growing up around swimming, London is now finally coming onto the map,” Rebecca said.
“We’ve always had our competitions in Sheffield and other places around the country, but I’ve never really swam in London, apart from the Olympics.
“I think it’s so hard to find space here to build a facility like this, but after the Olympics the legacy has just hit the capital, which it needed to.
“Now it’s amazing we have these facilities that are accessible, that are Olympic size and that are for these guys.
“It will inspire Olympians and Paralympians.”
The innovative design and build of the pool will make it a first for the area as the modular format is steel lined and created above ground level, making installation faster and more cost-effective.
The new pool will provide more spaces on Everyone Active’s swimming lesson programme, while swimming clubs will also be able to train in the longer pool.
Rebecca added: “It’s incredible to see as I have heard so many times over the last ten years, ‘My local pool is closing, what can you do?’
“That is really sad and horrible for me as an athlete, I wish there was more that I could do, but there is not.
“It’s fantastic when pools are opening, especially facilities like this as it’s the first of its kind and shows you don’t need renovation projects that cost a fortune.
“What they’ve done here is absolutely ground-breaking and could change the sport massively.
“If we could have a few more of these around the country that would be great, but they’re setting the precedent here.”
For more information about the pool, including opening times, visit everyoneactive.com