Olympic legends to officially open 50m pool in Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 18:00 22 January 2019

Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington before the Women's 800m Freestyle Final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park on the seventh day of the London 2012 Olympics (Pic: Tony Marshall/PA)

Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington before the Women's 800m Freestyle Final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park on the seventh day of the London 2012 Olympics (Pic: Tony Marshall/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington will be lining up alongside a series of aquatic Olympic heroes to kick off the launch event of the new 50m pool at Becontree Heath Leisure Centre this weekend.

Adlington, who won two gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games, will be joined by Olympic medallists Joanne Jackson and Steve Parry, Commonwealth Champion James Goddard and Olympians Grant Turner and Craig Figes.

Across the weekend, the local community are invited to take part in a 24 hour swimming challenge.

Swimmers, including the Olympic heroes, will be attempting to swim the length of the Thames on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm.

Any money raised from the event will go to Everyone Active’s charity partner MIND.

The public are invited to come along throughout the weekend to take part in free activities throughout the rest of the centre which include group exercise classes, family swim with inflatables and fitness challenges.

Everyone Active, which manages Becontree Heath Leisure Centre in partnership with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, is working with Total Swimming to expand the swimming provision to local residents.

The 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 inclusion of the new pool will provide more spaces on Everyone Active’s award-winning swimming lesson programme, and local swimming clubs will be able to develop due to the new longer pool.

Tom Fletcher, Everyone Active area contract manager, said: “The new pool looks fantastic and will mean that we can get more people within the local community into the water to either learn a vital life skill or get more active.

“We’re proud to have worked in partnership with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Total Swimming to provide this truly unique facility.

“I would encourage the whole community to come down and meet our aquatics heroes and see our new pool.”

Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council said: “Our new 50m pool at Becontree Heath Leisure Centre is a first for the borough and, other than the London Aquatics Centre, it’s the only Olympic length swimming pool in East London.

“The Council promised to invest in leisure services for local residents and I’m delighted to see the facility up and running.

“We’re also really pleased that the pool will be heated by a brand-new energy centre managed by the council’s own Energy Services company, B&D Energy Limited, which will also supply low carbon heat to new homes in the area through its District Heating Network.”

Cllr Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health Integration said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents is a key priority for Barking and Dagenham council.

“The new pool at Becontree will help our residents to get more active by providing more time for the public to go swimming and offering more swimming lessons to children and young people in the borough.

“It will also make a big difference for local swimming clubs in the area, giving them better training facilities and making Barking and Dagenham a venue for local and regional swimming galas”.

Total Swimming’s Director of Developments Adrian Turner said: “This is a pool of two amazing outcomes - one local, one global. The first is that residents, especially club swimmers, now have their own Olympic length pool.

“The second is that a 50m pool of this quality - and for £2m - is a world-first.

“It has already attracted attention at home and abroad, and I can’t wait to build the next.

“The Council and Everyone Active have been superb clients and I know they are as proud as we are.”

For more information and to register for the event please visit

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