Shropshire Star

Letter: Disappointed by remarks about Shrewsbury swimming and fitness centre

Shrewsbury’s Quarry swimming pool

As a parent of a young competitive swimmer from Shropshire, I read with much disappointment of MP Daniel Kawczynski calling for The Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre to be demolished to make way for a five-star hotel.

In recent years, parents of swimmers have watched councils throughout Shropshire and the Midlands make decisions which have ultimately affected their children's opportunities. And with figures released by Sport England showing that swimming is the most participated in activity in the country, 2.9 million regularly swimming, there is going to be an issue if it closes.

Besides The Quarry there are no pools in Shropshire able to hold swimming galas and competitions.

Market Drayton pool was taken over by a private company which rendered it incapable of hosting galas by building a gym where the timing systems were situated.

This caused Shropshire County Championships to be moved to Wolverhampton Central Baths. It is an excellent facility which hosts open events most weekends. Unfortunately, it is due to close in March as it has been deemed to be unviable.

So for all the talk of 'legacy' we have heard so much of since the Olympics, that clearly isn't the case.

Mr Kawczynski says he wants money from the sale of the pool at The Quarry to be ringfenced towards a replacement. In 2011, £11 million was meant to have been ringfenced to upgrade the facilities there, but it was spent on other things by Shropshire Council.

Although there are plenty of pools in Shropshire, none are adequate for competition. There is a great opportunity to give Shropshire what it needs, attract swimmers from around the Midlands and further afield to events and bring in revenue.

And, Mr Kawczynski, although the venue is 'tired', we travel there to attend swimming events – we wouldn't go to stay in a five-star hotel!

Mark Haden, Shawbirch

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