The new Olympic legacy 50m swimming pool at Mount Kelly opened in September 2016. After years of planning, the pool is now running as a brilliant resource for both Mount Kelly and the local community.
Olympic and Commonwealth medal winner and TV personality Sharron Davies MBE, who is an ex pupil and trained at Mount Kelly, 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 the opportunity to come and enjoy themselves while getting fit. It will be an important part of the Olympic legacy.”
Over the years Mount Kelly has helped to develop the swimming careers of more than 80 international swimmers of which 28 competed at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, winning 5 Olympic and 9 Commonwealth medals between them. Olympic Bronze medal and triple Commonwealth Games Gold medal winner Andrew Jameson, is also an ex-pupil.
This multi-million pound project has been made possible by Sport England National Lottery funding of over £700,000. Mark Semmence, Head Master, said “This significant investment in the future of the school and for sport regionally would not have been possible without the support of Sport England”.
“Sport is, of course, very important for the school, especially swimming, and this project means that we can attract the very best swimming talent nationally and internationally. I expect our pool to become a hub in the South West for nurturing outstanding talent. Here at Mount Kelly our sporting programmes form an integral part of the overall educational experience creating a culture in which the level of commitment and dedication required to excel are not considered out of the ordinary but are qualities to which everyone can aspire.”
“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 swimming clubs, primary and secondary schools.”
Charles Johnston, Sport England’s Director of Property said “We are proud to be a partner delivering a sporting legacy for Mount Kelly and supporting their ambition to train the next generation of swimmers. This legacy pool will be of lasting benefit to the students who will be able to reach their full potential as athletes.”
2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the International Paralympic Committee, the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement and Mount Kelly have enjoyed considerable success in this area of the sport. Mount Kelly swimmers won 5 Paralympic medals at the 2008 Games in Beijing, 5 at the 2012 Games in London and 7 at the 2016 Games in Rio.
The pool will be used for long course training for Mount Kelly pupils, local and regional state schools and swimming clubs from around the UK. It will also provide access to Swim England accredited swim school programmes for learner swimmers.
The successful programme of visits by primary schools to the existing Mount Kelly pool will be expanded considerably. In addition to this nearly 350 local children are already enjoying swimming lessons at the school and this is a number that will also be increased significantly.