Rio 2016 success inspires more people to take to the pool
Team GB’s success at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has created a surge of people searching out their local pool or club.
Since the start of the Olympic Games, almost 200,000 people have accessed the ASA’s PoolFinder web app to search for their local pool. This is an increase of 38 per cent on the same period in July and shows the impact that watching athletes compete at the highest level can have on the number of people who want to participate in pool-based sports.
Leeds-based divers Jack Laugher and Chris Mears made history for Britain as they claimed the first ever diving gold medal for Team GB in the Men’s 3m Synchronised Springboard event.
With the increased visibility of diving at the Olympic Games, the ASA received 780 enquiries from people wanting to know how they can join their local diving club, compared to only 63 over the whole of July. This is a record number of enquiries, and the first time that enquiries about diving clubs have outmatched those for swimming clubs.
Enquiries for swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo clubs also saw a significant increase, with swimming seeing three times as many enquiries than July.
ASA Interim CEO, Jane Nickerson, said: “The success of our athletes at the Olympic Games is testament to the hard work and dedication of our clubs and coaches. A number of the athletes were representing their club at national level just a few years ago, which shows how far they have come thanks to the ASA and British Swimming performance pathway.
“The number of people searching for their local pool using the ASA’s PoolFinder tool shows the impact that elite competitions have on inspiring people to take part in pool-based sports. It is amazing to see how these young athletes, many of whom started out on the ASA Learn to Swim pathway, have encouraged others to start their journey into swimming.
“Swimming is a sport which is accessible to everyone, and its visibility in the media over the course of the Olympic Games has helped to bring it to the forefront of the nation’s minds. Our vision is a nation swimming and with 198,000 people searching out their local pool over the last two weeks, and over 1,700 people enquiring about joining clubs, this is a great opportunity to support people to start swimming more regularly.”
The Team GB aquatics squads had their most successful Olympic campaign, taking home a total of nine medals, six in the swimming and three in the diving events.
City of Derby swimmer, Adam Peaty, lowered his own world record twice in the 100m Breaststroke, first in the heats and then again in the final. He finished a second and a half ahead of the rest of the competitors in the final to claim Team GB’s first Olympic gold medal.