National swimming stars welcomed the building of a new Olympic swimming pool at a school in Tavistock, Devon in a development expected to transform the sport in the west of England
The school has been given the go-ahead to build an eight-lane, 50m pool to train Olympic swimmers and encourage the next generation of young hopefuls.
Made possible in part thanks to £706,000 of Sport England National Lottery funding, the pool will be used to train Mount Kelly pupils, local and regional state schools and swimming clubs from across the country.
Mark Semmence, headteacher at Mount Kelly, says: “This significant investment in the future of the school and for sport regionally would not have been possible without the support of Sport England.
"I am particularly delighted that the new pool will enable Mount Kelly to work more closely with the local and regional community, as 60% of the usage of the pool is designated for local state schools and swimming clubs.”
With an estimated 1 in 3 children in England unable to swim on leaving primary school, the pool is a vital part of bucking this trend. Scores of primary children from across the region will use the top-class facility.
Olympic and Commonwealth medal winner and ex-Mount Kelly pupil Sharron Davies MBE, said: "I am thrilled. This is a big step forward for British swimming. It will give a huge boost to the chances of more young people reaching international level as well as giving those who simply love the sport to come and enjoy themselves while getting fit."