Swimmers ready to dive into a new Aberdeenshire swimming pool can do so from tomorrow now that the waters have been tested by a local sporting champion.
Inverurie swimming pool, built within the newly-completed £55 million educational community campus, has received the seal of approval from Hannah Miley.
The double Commonwealth champion, European and world medallist and triple Olympic swimmer was given the honour of enjoying the first swim in the new facility run by Live Life Aberdeenshire.
The 31-year-old, who was coached by her father Patrick, trained in the old pool next door on her journey to sporting stardom.
She said: “I joined the swimming club aged five or six and I couldn’t wait until I turned eight, so I could go to a public or fun session with my friends. We would turn up with our £1 coin to pay to get in.
“It’s great to come back and see what clubs now have to train in, this new facility will be highly beneficial for them, great for local athletes and for the community.”
The former Inverurie Academy pupil and Robert Gordon University graduate hopes the new pool will get more people into the sport.
She added: “There’s lots of space, high ceilings and you can come and feel comfortable getting an activity done, getting an endorphin boost, and it’s really important for the community to have that outlet, to be able to do what they feel is right for them.
“I hope the range and quality of facilities on offer here will also encourage people to try something they maybe haven’t tried before.”
The community sports and leisure facilities on offer at the campus, once all works are complete, will include a six-lane swimming pool, a multi-use games area and two all-weather pitches.
Community leisure officer Gordon Young, who worked at the old pool for 27 years, said Miss Miley’s success and the new pool should inspire others in the town.
“I’ve watched her achievements over the years proudly and it’s hard to fathom the level of dedication Hannah has, but she’s proof of what you can achieve if you work hard enough,” he said.
The sporting facilities will be used by pupils and residents alike, run by the Live Life Aberdeenshire trust on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council.
Mr Young added: “It’s a complete transformation from what we had and all the staff are keen to welcome swimmers old and new to the centre, putting a lot of effort in to make sure their visit is pleasurable and safe and we hope they’ll come back again and again.”
The new campus, which will replace the old Inverurie Academy building in Jackson Street, is expected to open to 1,600 pupils from the academy and St Andrews School after the October break.
The new pool there will open to swimmers from tomorrow, though, with access for local swimming clubs and the public. Full opening of all the sports and community facilities at the campus will be confirmed in due course.
Slots must be booked in advance due to ongoing coronavirus lockdown regulations.