Vivacity’s first Premier Fitness gym opened its doors in Hampton back in February. Offering all you would expect from a premium health and fitness centre – and a bit more besides – it could also prove a vital resource for the city’s young swimmers. TOBY VENABLES reports
Back in September, we talked to key members of the City of Peterborough Swimming Club (known as COPS). Whilst nowhere near as famous as the city’s main Olympic darling – gymnast and Strictly champ Louis Smith – it was immediately obvious that they deserved to be. As their trainer, Ben Negus put it: ‘We have had kids ranked in the top 30 in Europe, and we’ve trained a Paralympic medallist and world champion, and the club as a whole is in the top 20 in the country, which is incredible considering the number of swimmers we have.’
For the last four years, COPS – a mere 123 members strong – has also made the National Arena League Finals ‘basically the equivalent of the FA Cup’, while Olympic hopeful Liam Knight, whose talent was nurtured at COPS is, according to Ben, ‘one of the best prospects Great Britain has produced for years’. In short, Peterborough is a great place for young swimmers – perhaps one of the best in the UK. One key issue that Ben and youth coach Mike Glossop identified, however, was that there were fewer very young swimmers coming through locally than they would have liked. A crying shame, given such inspiring examples to follow.
‘The Vivacity Swim Academy has a great reputation and as such has always been extremely popular’
Fast-forward to February 2014, and the opening of a new Vivacity Premier Fitness swimming pool in Hampton. Whilst its relationship to the state of youth swimming in the city may not at first be obvious, Vivacity’s state-of-the-art centre includes (amongst many other things) a new 25-metre pool, which will significantly increase its ability to deliver swimming classes and coaching via the Vivacity Swim Academy. Vivacity Swim Academy lessons are also available at both the Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre and the Jack Hunt Swimming Pool & Gym, with a wide range of course days and times every day of the week. ‘The Vivacity Swim Academy has a great reputation and as such has always been extremely popular,’ says Vivacity Marketing & Communications Officer Sharon Sim. ‘Swimming is such an important skill to learn and being able to extend the swim academy to Hampton means that we many more children across the city will be able to enjoy learning to swim and the great benefits it brings.’
‘Swimming is one of the most essential skills that a child can have,” says Vivacity Swim Academy Manager Chris Hunt. ‘Vivacity Swim Academy follows the National Plan for Teaching Swimming produced by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), National Governing…