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Games monitor slams Glasgow City Council for pools closures

SCOTLAND may be revelling in medal success in swimming, but new research has found almost two-thirds of school pools have closed in the Commonwealth Games host city in the last 20 years .

Preliminary findings from a project to map the history of all swimming pools in Glasgow show the number of school pools has fallen from around 20 to just seven in the last 20 years.

The number of public pools in Glasgow has remained at around 11 over the past 100 years.

The findings will be presented at a talk on Thursday organised by the Glasgow Games Monitor, a campaign group which takes a critical look at the impact of the sporting event.

Researcher Dr Anna McLauchlan, of the geography school at Strathclyde University, said much of the drop in school pools resulted from a programme to rebuild schools under private finance initiative agreements in the early 2000s.

"A lot of schools were knocked down and then rebuilt on the same grounds," she said. "But if they were knocked down and had a pool, when they were rebuilt, the pool wasn't put in place.

"Because there is a good distribution of [public] Glasgow Life pools throughout the city and those are used by the schools, you could argue about how much of a big deal that is.

"But it does lead on to questions about what happens after the Games in terms of promotion of physical activity - what is really going to endure is one of the questions and long-term provision of facilities is the sort of thing that enables that."

She added: "Thinking beyond competitive sport, there are potential issues surrounding whether or not absolutely everyone is getting access to this sort of resource."

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said education services had an agreement enabling access to all the pools in the city and that all children in Glasgow can swim for free.

She said all children take part in a primary school swimming programme, with extra sessions for those who may not swim as much outside school. This ensures as many children as possible are confident swimmers.

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Education

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