Management and coaches from British Diving and representatives from the English Institute of Sport (pictured) were taken to see the progress being made on the swimming and diving pools.
The ‘fact-finding’ visit was hosted by Plymouth City Council and was part of an annual conference organised by British Diving, held at UCP Marjon. The conference, attended by around 30 delegates, was a chance for British Diving to outline its programme and strategy for the next 12 months in the lead-up to the Olympic Games in London.
Alexei Evangulov, National Performance Director for British Diving, said: “The coaches have been really impressed and excited – it’s going to be one of the best diving facilities in the country and of international standard. We are looking forward to it opening – it will allow us to develop a good programme of diving and allow training for Olympic teams. We have many plans for using these facilities including hosting national and international competitions after London 2012.”
Southampton-based Lindsey Fraser, who coaches Tom Daley’s diving partner Peter Waterfield, said: “I can’t wait to actually see it all completely finished. It’s definitely a world-class facility, there’s no doubt about that. It’s going to be a beautiful looking diving pool. We’re really looking forward to having everything close at hand and having three-metre wide diving boards is just going to be great.”
Plymouth-based diving coach Andy Banks said the facility will be one of the best in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. “Over the years I’ve really seen Plymouth up its game and it will soon be on the world stage when it comes to providing state-of-the-art leisure and sporting facilities such as the Plymouth Life Centre,” he said. “There is a huge amount of anticipation now in the lead up to the opening, and I personally cannot wait to start using the centre, which will make a massive difference.”
Council Leader Vivien Pengelly said: “Hearing some of the really positive comments and enthusiasm from some of the country’s elite diving coaches about the Plymouth Life Centre is very encouraging. We want this facility to be thought of as one of the best in the world and this is a real vote of confidence from some of the top sporting representatives in their field.”
When it opens in February 2012 the Plymouth Life Centre will have the only 10-lane, 50-metre Olympic-sized competition swimming pool in the South West. It will also have one of the top four diving pools in the country and a dry-side training facility for competitive divers.
The swimming and diving pools’ moveable floors and booms will provide the equivalent of five 25-metre pools in addition to a family leisure pool, which is much more water space than the city has ever offered.
This flexibility means there will be public swimming space available all day and it will be possible for many different groups – for example divers, public swimmers, school children, learners and clubs – to be using the facility at the same time, all within their own defined pool areas.
The Plymouth Life Centre, which will be operated by Everyone Active, will play host to the national Canadian diving team and Lithuanian swimming teams when they both use the facility as their pre-Olympic training camp.
For more information visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/lifecentre.
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