Former Olympian thinks Alderney swimming pool could be a 'splashing' success

Credit: ITV Channel

A former Olympic gold medalist has said he thinks plans for a new community swimming pool in Alderney is "an important step forward".

Duncan Goodhew won Olympic gold and bronze medals at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

"Everybody is together singing off the same hymn sheet, something needs to be done and it needs to be done together with Guernsey.

"The difference this would make to young people is massive, because it's not just about their opportunities as potential sports people, it's also about their health and fitness for the future.

The Alderney Sports Foundation (ASF) has been exploring the best way to satisfy the sporting and leisure needs of the community.

The Alderney Sports Foundation has proposed a sports complex in the lower part of the school grounds with community access from the Braye Common and adjacent to the school entrance.

The facility will have a 25m outdoor swimming pool, an 8m indoor heated training pool and a sports hall, if approved, and could cost £5m.

The former Olympian said that the children need to be at the forefront of these plans.

"The first element is to make sure children learn to swim and having an indoor pool the size that will allow them to learn to swim is the first bit. The second part is providing year-round use.

"We are seeing a massive increase in open water swimming in the UK. As long as it's warmed a bit, it's going to make a lot of difference to a lot of people around the year."

Across the Channel Islands there has been an increase in the number of people taking to outdoor swimming. Over the winter, water temperatures have fallen as low as 7 degrees Celsius.  

But whilst sea swimming is said to have benefits to your health, Duncan believes this project has an even stronger benefit.

"Having people understand the benefits that this is an investment in the future, it's about decreasing health costs and increasing children's activity levels, so they're less likely to be a burden in the future."