Leesland swimming pool to mark 50 years

By Connor Steel

LEESLAND C OF E JUNIOR SCHOOL have announced they will host two separate events next month to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of their popular and purpose-built swimming pool, which was commissioned by parents of then-students and opened to the public back on July 4, 1972 costing just under £9,000.

To mark the landmark after a tough few years due to threats of decommission, an open event will take place at the pool with people invited to have a look and enjoy a range of refreshments on sale to visitors. This huge opportunity is due to run between 12pm and 4pm on July 3 (Sunday) with everybody invited to attend.

Additionally the pool will be hosting a swimming gala scheduled for July 7 (Thursday), which will see local primary and junior schools compete in the inter-education competition as students approach the summer holidays. Amongst those going will be the eight schools that hire out the pool for lessons and exercising.

All funds raised from these two events will go towards the costs of a new pool liner, which is priced at around £25,000 overall. The aim is to buy this at the end of the year working alongside the hiring of the facility and fundraising support by Aqua Academy; with no funding from Hampshire County Council available to help.

Previous fundraising exercises have seen £65,000 donated by the local community after the pool was threatened with decommission; helping to manage the costs of roof repairs and other general maintenance costs associated with running an indoor facility. This includes heating, electricity and safety elements.

And such was the strength of feeling in Gosport about the facility, another £120,000 has been raised over the last seven years to help the pool maintain its huge demands; featuring 900 swims a week on average. The monies have been used to improve the standard of the swimming pool building and equipment for people.

Anybody who wishes to support the two upcoming events or the swimming pool as it continues to benefit the community are asked to contact Kate Hedges by calling 02392 580 0962. Alternatively they can email the address: k.hedges@leeslandschools-fed.co.uk; with organisers hoping to hear from anybody involved fundraising and building of the pool between 1970 and 1972 alongside the grand opening to the public.

PICTURED (TOP): Swimming pool located at Leesland C of E Junior School (reproduced with permission).