Following the recent announcement that energy and heating bill increases of up to 150% could lead to the widespread closures of swimming pools across the UK, Wave Leisure Trust is reassuring members that swimming pools are operating as normal, with no plans to reduce or halt current swim offering.
With over 14 million people in Britain participating in swimming over the last 12 months, swimming is a popular sport across all age groups. However, the recent energy price increase has found swimming pools across the country are hit with huge bills, meaning that many regular swimmers may be faced with colder pools at higher prices.
With the health benefits from swimming including helping to alleviate stress, improve cardiovascular fitness and providing a good low-impact therapy to help some injuries and health conditions, it is vital that the government increases support for swimming pools to ensure they remain open.
Interviewed on BBC Radio Sussex last Thursday (28 April 2022), Fred Furner Head of Property, Quality and Compliance at Wave Leisure Trust, said: “The situation is extremely challenging; however, we want to focus on maintaining a quality service to ensure we remain attractive to our existing and new customers. If we do that, then we have a better great chance of keeping costs as they are.”
When asked if the temperature of the swimming pools will get colder, Fred replied: “At Wave, this is not something we are considering. It is important to us that we continue to offer a high-quality service to people and encourage customers to keep returning.”
Many leisure providers across the country, including Wave, are concerned and calling for more support from the government.
With little public knowledge of when energy prices will decrease, Wave Leisure Trust is working with local councils to identify green initiatives in order to protect services and minimise costs increases to the customer.
Jane Nickerson, CEO at Swim England, said: “We know the huge role swimming plays in the health and wellbeing of the nation – the physical and mental health benefits of swimming for people of all ages are many and are undoubted.
“Price increases and pool closures would only serve to make this situation even worse, widening health inequalities and excluding those most in need of these facilities.”
With the energy prices showing no sign of reduction, it is vital that local communities continue to support leisure centres, to ensure a greater chance of keeping facilities open and prices down.
Nina Taylor, Aquatics Development Coordinator and Site Manager at Wave Leisure said: “Swimming is a great activity for all ages as it is a low impact workout that can help individuals to develop life skills, learn to be confident and safe in the water, improve confidence and social skills, plus improve mental health.
“At Wave we are continuing to introduce new opportunities to inspire active lifestyles. Our swimming timetables provide activities for everyone, from the whole family to experienced swimmers2, as well as swim school for those looking to learn or develop their swimming.”
Formed in 2006, Wave Leisure Trust Limited is a charitable not-for-profit trust, working to inspire active lifestyles through high-quality, affordable and accessible health and fitness facilities.
Wave Leisure Trust manages four swimming pools and offers family swim sessions, lane swimming, and Wave Swim School for those looking to learn to swim.