Mark Foster – Former Team GB Olympic swimmer: Keep pools at leisure centres open, I know there is a cost but it is a vital way to save lives
- People have missed ability to go swimming, let off steam and hang out at pools
- One in three English councils expect to close at least one leisure centre this year
- That is shocking and the long-term health implications are dire for the country
I am fortunate that I live on the beach in Essex and I’ve been in the sea a few times — although it’s absolutely Baltic!
I’ve also been in the pool since they reopened and I can’t deny I’ve missed it.
You might only do it once or twice a week, but when it’s one of the things you look forward to, one of the places you let off steam or, probably most importantly, where you get to hang out with your tribe, you miss these things.
Like everybody, I’m just excited that things that can start happening again.
Mark Foster says that we must do what we can to keep swimming pools open
Covid has stopped so much — there are a lot of people out there that still need help and diseases that need research. Those things don’t just go away.
Swimathon raises money and awareness for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. I’ve probably been involved now for 10 years and it’s exciting it will return in September.
People like doing something for others — this gives them something to show they care but also a reason to stay fit and healthy.
So the news that one in thrmee councils in England expect to close at least one leisure centre this year is shocking.
Covid clearly is horrendous but the long-term future is more frightening: obesity, heart disease, all the things associated with a lack of exercise.
What was highlighted during this pandemic was that being unfit and unhealthy put you at a higher risk.
Leisure centres have reopened but there are worrying forecasts about many closing
I always say: get out of your head and into your body. Sitting around doing nothing is not healthy.
All of a sudden, we’re saying: we know it’s good for you but we’re going to take them away. That doesn’t make any sense.
We should have more leisure centres. I know it’s very difficult but without pools we don’t learn to swim.
First and foremost it’s a life skill — it can help prevent you from drowning, you could potentially save someone else’s life. And let’s face it: when it comes to holidays or the weather gets nice, where do people go? They flock to water.
It’s so important that we keep pools open — I know there is a cost but the cost when you look at the lives we’re saving far outweighs that.
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Mark Foster was speaking with Daniel Matthews