Making waves over diving boards

PUBLISHED: 12:10 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

Diving coach Derek Beaumont

Diving coach Derek Beaumont

DIVERS are still unable to use diving boards at a swimming pool despite them being installed six years ago. Two national diving coaches told The Comet the sport of diving is suffering in Stevenage because of problems surrounding the unused boards which w

DIVERS are still unable to use diving boards at a swimming pool despite them being installed six years ago.

Two national diving coaches told The Comet the sport of diving is suffering in Stevenage because of problems surrounding the unused boards which were installed at Stevenage Swimming Pool in 2000.

Diving coach Derek Beaumont said: "I understand the stand which the boards are on is not strong enough to be used by divers.

"We would like to hold county championships at Stevenage but we can't. Stevenage was once a great catchment area for good divers. In the past we have had four Olympians from the area. I really believe the development of the sport is suffering because of this."

Martyn Brown, diving coach for GB, said: "The council and Stevenage Leisure Limited seem totally uninterested in making time for diving. I am saddened I was unable to re-establish a diving programme at the pool. Stevenage youngsters are missing out."

He also said a grant of £97,000 from Sport England was offered to the pool to get the diving boards in order and to promote diving in the area but he said the council and the pool lost out on the money because they didn't reply in time.

Swimmer Max Tatler, of Popple Way, Stevenage, contacted The Comet concerned that the borough council has "neglected" the facilities.

He said: "After expensive refurbishment of the pool the old boards were replaced with two new ones. The manager said these boards were still not to be used because further safety work needed doing.

"When will the public have access to the diving facilities they have paid for?

"The Olympics will be staged in Britain in 2012, but how can we begin to do well in sports if we do not have even basic facilities, not just for our champions, but for youngsters that might just want to have a go?"

Lisa Seccombe of Stevenage Leisure Limited said all parties involved aim to have the boards in use "as soon as is practically possible".

She said: "Stevenage Borough Council and Stevenage Leisure Limited are always extremely supportive of any form of sports development.

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