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City MP: Portsmouth must harness the success of the Olympics to deliver the next generation of talent

Stephen Morgan MP wants to ensure Portsmouth and the country harnesses the success of Tokyo 2020 to deliver the next generation of Olympic talent from the local grassroots level.

It comes following a visit to Portsmouth Northsea Swimming Club, on training at the Mountbatten Centre, which since 1927 has been delivering swimming courses and training for all abilities, from beginners to national level competitive swimmers.

The club is one of the leading swimming clubs in the UK and has produced a number of Olympic swimmers, including Katy Sexton, Gemma Spofforth and Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman.

Its objective is to deliver swimming provision for the community and to return the club to the topflight of national swimming clubs.

Earlier this year, the club raised over £25k through crowd funding, grants and support from local businesses and individuals, which will be used to plug the gap in its finances caused by the lockdowns.

Meanwhile, with the action underway at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, and following the gold medal win for Team GB’s Adam Peaty in in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke, and Tom Daley and Matty Lee in the Men’s Synchronised 10m Platform, the Portsmouth South MP is hoping the Olympics will leave local people #InspiredToTry swimming.

Following the visit, Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“I am really proud of the journey Portsmouth Northsea Swimming Club has been on from humble beginnings in a local pub, to a club that caters for swimmers at all levels.

“It’s really encouraging to learn how our community has come together to keep this fantastic asset going during lockdown despite the challenges of the pandemic, and to see first-hand the difference this support makes.

“Team GB have had an amazing games in the pool inspiring a new generation of swimmers. This Olympics legacy must include creating a country that puts health, physical and mental, first.

“I hope the excitement of Tokyo 2020 will provide the motivation for many Portsmouth people to be ‘Inspired To Try’ swimming which brings so many health benefits”.

Swim England has forecasted a 40% reduction in the number of available swimming facilities by the end of the decade. This would see over three million people unable to access their sports.

The city MP has vowed to challenge Government and other decision-makers over this.