Swimmers vow to keep on training, despite plug being pulled on Paralympic swimming in Swansea
PARALYMPIC swimmers have vowed to continue training as hard as they can - despite the sports’s bosses planing to pulling the plug on using the Wales National Pool in Sketty.
British Swimming has told managers at the facility in Sketty that they are to stop using the pool, and instead locate all GB national training in Manchester.
The pool’s board is calling on the Welsh and UK Governments, as well as the Sport Wales and Swimming Wales, to help get the decision reversed.
Meanwhile, the swimmers themselves continue to train, despite admitting disappointment in the decision.
Paralympic Games swimming coach Billy Pye, who was Sport Wales Coach of the Year for 2012, has coached many swimmers at the pool in Sketty, including former Olchfa pupil Ellie Simmonds, who won two gold medals at the 2012 Games.
He said: “It is very disappointing.
“We have known for a couple of weeks, and the principle of the new performance director, who comes from a cycling background, is they wanted to centralise everything in one base.
“But we had 34 competitors at the London Games, and we can’t centralise all of them in Manchester.
“We have started to build a team, and until we are told we finally finished we will continue to train.
“We have the Commonwealth to come, and in the long term we have been looking forward to the Games in 2020.
“We have swimmers who are ready to hit gold in Rio, and it just feels as though the ground has been taken from beneath us.
“We have got no control about what goes on out of the pool, but until they say there is definitely going to be no more swimming here, and that we have to make other arrangements, we will just carry on training hard”.
The decision to stop using the pool in Swansea came after British Swimming’s budget was cut after what was seen to be a poor performance at London 2012.
The national body for Swimming in Great Britain said a detailed review was carried out before the decision was made not to renew the contract with Swansea.
And Billy Pye whose swimmers returned from London 2012 with a medal haul of 11, including two golds and two world records, said he hoped the decision to centralise training in Manchester would not lead to swimmers abandoning their ambitions.
He said: “We are going to have to make other arrangements, but it will have a big impact, and not just on swimming
“We have swimmers like Chloe Davies, whose family is relocating from Bath to come and train here, and Morgan Peters, whose parents are coming from Wickham.
“It is not just about swimming, but the whole lifestyle.
“It is so disappointing after the feelgood facter generated from the London Games”.