Memorandum submitted by the Amateur Swimming
Federation of Great Britain
Thank you for your letter dated 1 November 2000
and I welcome the opportunity to contribute further to the work
of the Committee on the staging of international sporting events.
I am sure the Committee are aware of the importance
of governing bodies playing a pivotal role in bringing international
sporting events to this country. In key sports such as swimming
which is the largest participation sport in this country with
11.9 million people swimming regularly and with a strong heritage
at World, Commonwealth and Olympic level, the importance of this
cannot be under-estimated. Having recently returned from the Sydney
Olympic Gamescertainly a high water mark for the Olympic
movementit is clear that Sydney has set a new standard
not only for the staging of Olympic events but also the staging
of world class events. There is no doubt that as far as our world
governing body, FINA, is concerned they look to Great Britain
to stage events and would welcome in particular the opportunity
to stage events in London and it is for this reason that we have
begun an early dialogue with the GLA.
The harsh reality however, is that there are
no world class swimming facilities in London and there is a need
for the development of a strategy to create this. There is equally
a need for London to have a clear strategy building towards a
possible Olympic bid and we would urge your Committee to press
the Government and the GLA to undertake a review of swimming provision
throughout London not only for world class events but to meet
the needs of the citizens and young people within London.
Looking forward to a possible Olympic bid for
London, there is no doubt that if London is to have a realistic
chance of attracting the support of the IOC we need to address
as a matter of urgency the issue of key facilities and the transport
and infrastructure required for such an event. Without doubt we
have the management skills and technical knowledge to stage the
event but I remain to be convinced that we have the necessary
commitment at this moment in time. The level of commitment necessary
should not be under-estimated.
Looking to the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth
Games we have been impressed by the commitment of Manchester City
Council to ensure that there is a legacy from this event and there
is no doubt that the new swimming pool and the commitment towards
swimming development from the City Council will revitalise sport
and swimming in the city.
We do however, have great reservations with
regard to the adequacy of the swimming facility, with spectator
seating of circa 2,000 compared to 18,000 in Sydney on the Olympic
centre and 12,000 proposed for Melbourne in 2006, there will without
doubt be some criticism.
A further observation of a general nature which
we would wish to make is that there should be continuing encouragement
for major cities to invest in international sporting events. Travelling
around the world we see the great cities of the world taking the
financial initiative in bringing events to their cities to encourage
economic activity and sporting rejuvenation. We should recognise
that this is the way forward.
Should your Committee feel there would be some
value in me attending and providing any verbal evidence I would
welcome this opportunity.