Ponds Forge - an important local resource
I know from taking my own children to Ponds Forge International Sports Centre just what a fantastic local resource it is. I am therefore pleased to join local aquatics clubs in calling for the Council and Sheffield City Trust to urgently review their decision not to reopen.
Ponds Forge being closed for this long when other venues are reopening could have a significant impact on athlete training and would likely be hard to recover from. Further any lengthy closure has the potential to undermine the long-term future of the facility. The importance of Ponds Forge to Olympic hopefuls, but also to the members and coaches at the water polo, swimming and diving clubs, cannot be underestimated.
The funding plan that local clubs put together, in partnership with universities, seems a sensible way to proceed for the short term and I hope that Sheffield City Council will give it proper consideration.
It's testament to the dedication of our local athletes, coaches and supporters that they have been willing to take on the challenge of seeing Ponds Forge reopen.
Given the unique value of Ponds Forge as a venue of national importance, I have also made representations to colleagues in Government to see if there is anything that they can do to support the reopening.