Adam Peaty. Pic: Agência Brasil

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An Olympic swimming champion has added his voice to those campaigning to save Friary Grange Leisure Centre.

Friary Grange Leisure Centre

Lichfield District Council is currently reviewing an initial decision to shut the facility in April next year.

Thousands have signed a petition which forced the local authority into a rethink, with a final decision expected at a Cabinet meeting next month.

Adam Peaty. Pic: Agência Brasil

But swimming world record holder and Olympic gold medalist Adam Peaty MBE has joined the ranks urging the council not to base the decision purely on money.

“The closure of any sports facility around the country can have a devastating affect on local sports communities that rely on those facilities to teach and inspire future generations and to stay healthy,” he said.

“Sometimes closures are made for economic reasons, but I would urge any council to consider all the benefits of keeping facilities open before making these tough decisions.”

“If we lose this facility our club is likely to fold”

Lichfield Swimming Club is among the clubs and organisations facing an uncertain future if the centre’s pool closes as part of plans to convert The Friary School into an academy.

The club’s chair Rachel Bentley said: “Adam Peaty is someone who inspires our swimmers and he knows how important it is to have facilities so that they have the chance to learn this key skill.

“Our club’s swimmers have been incredibly successful and made us proud.

“If we lose this facility our club is likely to fold, the children will need to train elsewhere, moving away from their friends, parents will be driving longer distances and sadly some children will give up completely.

“With participation in sport such an important part of a healthy lifestyle a facility like Friary Grange is crucial to the whole city of Lichfield.”

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.