The English national governing body for swimming, diving, water polo, open water swimming and synchronised swimming is putting £40,000 towards the ‘Club and Coach’ project in Devon over the next two years.
The aims of the project are to develop the profile of water polo through improved access to pools for both training and competitions and establish one water polo club in Plymouth, available to both senior and junior teams.
The project will support water polo clubs across Devon including Exeter, Devonport Royal, Newton Abbot, Paignton, Barnstaple, as well as Plymouth and Exeter Universities.
Once the Plymouth Life Centre is open to the public early next year, it will become the central hub for delivering the programme in Devon and treble the water space available for water polo players and skilled coaches in the region. The facility will also include a coach education and training room.
Councillor Glenn Jordan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Sport said: “Having the support of the ASA will help us to increase the number of swimmers, divers and water polo players in the region receiving high-quality coaching with the very best facilities. It will enable us to nurture up-and-coming young talent and help players be the best that they can. Through this new funding agreement we also hope to increase the number of players and coaches across the South West.”
Nick Sellwood, ASA Head of Talent for the ASA, added “The Plymouth Life Centre will be an outstanding aquatic facility which will provide an excellent opportunity for more people to participate in all aquatic disciplines from learning then developing skills on to performance and continuing as part of a healthy lifestyle. It will also be of great benefit to elite athletes preparing for major events, as they will be able to train in the same quality and standard of facilities that they will be competing in.”
In April, it was confirmed that the ASA would make a significant three-year investment in an athlete support programme at the Plymouth Life Centre, with benefits such as strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, psychology and nutrition for 36 regional athletes.
It will also go towards the creation of a fully integrated Beacon Programme – the ASA sponsored aquatics scheme which takes swimmers through the process of learning, developing and performing, and will help the Plymouth Life Centre achieve swim21 status, the quality-assured mark and accreditation of the ASA.
In return Plymouth City Council, which is building the facility, will provide more than 570 hours of swimming, diving, dry side land training, dry diving and classroom or lecture time free of charge for regional groups every year.
Swimming and diving facilities at the Plymouth Life Centre will include a 10-lane, 50-metre swimming pool with moveable floors and submersible booms, one of the top four diving pools in the country and a dry side training facility for competitive divers.
More information can be found at www.plymouth.gov.uk/lifecentre.
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