Sad dives

Everytime I asked at Council why the specifications of the “state of the art” new swimming pool planned for Loampit Vale are so poor and made specific reference to the very low depth that would never allow diving again in this Borough I was always told that hopeful divers are very well provided in South London and that there’s no demand for more diving facilities.

The South London Press now shows us what these wonderful facilities that our Labour Councillors were speaking about look like. Kids in a freezing room jumping on mattresses pretending they’re in a swimming pool! Of course when the Olympics were presented the opening video opened with some great divers, good for presentation purposes, not good enough to support for real.

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8 Responses to “Sad dives”

  1. Cllr Tom Papworth Says:

    The decision to downgrade the diving facilities at the National Sports Stadium at Crystal Palace has significantly reduced diving provision in South London. I think that there may now be no olympic-standard diving facilities in the area.

    It may be worth challenging Labour with this.

  2. Max Says:

    It’d be about time someone took the lead on this. Those pictures show a completely ludicrous reality.
    Preparing for Olympic diving on mattresses? It’s like a Monty Python sketch.

    But apart from the Olympic standard, what about the general grassroots sports opportunities?
    There is now a diktat to make new swimming pools all of 25m length and a maximum of 2m deep, economic and advisable for neighbourhood pools but surely inadequate for what we ‘d call borough flagship pools, those facilities that should be the intermediate level between the neighbourhood facility and the Olympic standard. Longer pools with deeper end to allow some diving, just like Ladywell Pool.
    There used to be a network of them and like Ladywell pool they are being replaced with lower specification pools.
    The new generation of pools is killing sports like diving and with them much of the fun that surrounds aquatic sports with repercussions on the level of participation across the board.

  3. Clare Griffiths Says:

    Well said and good on you for keeping up the pressure on this!

  4. Max Says:

    Thanks Claire. It’s baffling how some ideas that make sense are so hard to push through.

  5. Sue Says:

    Max, maybe I’m missing something here, but surely they do some training on technique or whatever on the gym equipment then hone their skills in the pools afterwards? I’m not suggesting that the conditions are satisfactory – they sound a long way from it, but your post made it sound like they didn’t get to use the pools, which surely they do?!

  6. Max Says:

    Yes, you may have been missing something:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article4466515.ece

    I believe that they do manage to touch the water too now, but only if there is time available.
    Crystal Palace is the one and only diving centre for the whole of London, its’ not easy to have the space for training so I believe that dry training is also a necessity to make up for the lack of opportunities.
    And when Crystal Palace closed for removal of asbestos the dry training was all they could do.

    The Amateur Swimming Association initiative “flip and fun”, also carried out in our borough revolves around having kids jumping on mattresses to introduce them to diving and identify those that may be worth training in the hope that some Olympic champion emerges. This is an artificial promotion of a sport that doesn’t exist anymore because of the lack of facilities. if there were opportunities to dive in pools they wouldn’t have to do this.
    And even if kids learn to dive on mattresses but then there are no pools where they can do it for the rest of their life then what’s the meaning (besides finding suitable Olympic champions)?

    Diving as a sport is in a comatose situation, almost obliterated by the removal of diving boards and the new generation of pools that are too shallow for any board.

  7. Sue Says:

    Max, according to Darryl on 853, Charlton Lido is being turned into a diving centre. Do you know any details about that?

  8. Max Says:

    Hi Sue, I don’t know any better than Darryl does.
    I knew about it and have been waiting for some news since it closed with a view to build a dedicated diving pool, I remember reading the specs and thinking wow, that’s deep, I just googled it to refresh the memory and yes, the wow came back, this News Shopper article speaks on an indoor 35m deep(!) pool. An atoll basically.
    http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/1987786.plans_to_give_lido_major_facelift/

    Here’s another one that speaks of 22m, still really deep.
    http://www.sportsmanagement.co.uk/newsdetail1.cfm?codeID=67083&dom=n&CFID=15489726&CFTOKEN=89069095

    It’s great news for diving and sport in general and I’m pleased that Greenwich Leisure is involved in this because if they see sense in promoting diving then maybe there is a future, they have become virtually a Ministry for Swimming in London.
    I still think that without going to these depths we’d do with a bit more depth in a few pools around London with diving boards that needn’t be of Olympic standards, just regular plain boards, up to 3m maybe, where everyone can have a go.

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