Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

National Sports Centre: Pool closure leads to 'worrying' decline in swimming

National Sports Centre Image copyright IOM GOV
Image caption The competition pool at the National Sports Centre is now due to open in mid-August

Delays to the reopening of the Isle of Man's main swimming pool has led to a fall in participation in the sport, the island's national coach has said.

Lee Holland said, despite recent success at the Island Games, there had been a "worrying drop" of up to 20% in those taking part

The National Sports Centre in Douglas is the island's only competition-standard pool.

A £4.2m revamp of the complex has been delayed amid problems with slides.

About 800 people aged five to 24 take part in club swimming on the island, including 150 competitors in the national squad system.

Mr Holland said the "far longer than expected delay" had put "considerable stress on our programme".

"The number of children unable to access the pool means that the next Michael Phelps or Rebecca Adlington may have missed their window," he added.

The government has been asked for a response.

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture has confirmed the main pool is now due to open in mid-August but the leisure pool will remain closed.

Manx swimmers secured 24 medals at the recent games in Gibraltar.

Regional swimming pools around the island have been used as part of the team's training programme.

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