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96 REBECCA ADLINGTON:SPN Master pages 13/9/08 02:09 Page 2
spnfeature
DOUBLEOLYMPIC
GOLDMEDALWINNER
ISHONOUREDASPOOLISRENAMED
The swimming centre
where double Beijing
Olympic gold medal
hero 19 year old
Rebecca Adlington
first learned to swim
is to be renamed in
her honour
S
herwood Swimming Baths in
Mansfield Woodhouse will undergo
a £4.5m refurbishment starting in
January and is now set to re-open
as the Rebecca Adlington Swimming
Centre in September 2009.
Rebecca destroyed the rest of the field in
Mansfield District Council’s Executive Mayor, Tony Egginton with Rebecca and
the 800m freestyle to claim her second gold
family members on her return from Beijing
of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to add
to the one she won in the 400m freestyle. after becoming the most successful “I had no kind of lifestyle, to be
She broke one of swimming’s most Olympian in British swimming history. honest,” she said. “My parents have
illustrious world records in the process as “I’m only 19, this was my first Games helped me out a lot. They’ve always
her time of eight minutes, 14.10 seconds and people tend not to win anything at supported me, paid competition fees,
was 2.12 seconds under Janet Evans’ 19- their first Games. This was about getting stuff like that.
year-old world record. into racing, getting the experience under Mayor Egginton said: “We’ll soon be
Rebecca first learned to swim at my belt. Hopefully, there’s a lot more to embarking on an exciting £4.5m revamp
Sherwood Baths from the age of six before come in 2012.” of Sherwood Baths so we thought it
progressing through the Mansfield District Adlington also believes that what she has would be wholly appropriate to rename it
Council / Notts County Council swimming done here in Beijing will have wider the Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre,
development programme and on to resonances because 2012 is on the horizon. especially as it is the place where
Olympic glory. “I hope that people will realise what a Rebecca made those first tentative steps
As a further honour, Mansfield District great sport swimming is to watch and get into swimming.
Council’s Executive Mayor, Tony Egginton involved in,” she said. “It’s great for little “Rebecca is a fantastic ambassador for
is to propose that the Freedom of kids. I hope this gets them in a pool. London Mansfield both in and out of the pool.
Mansfield be bestowed upon Rebecca – is going to be an amazing opportunity. It’s “The renamed Sherwood Baths will be
the ultimate accolade the District can going to be the greatest thing any British a permanent reminder of Rebecca’s
award an individual or group. sportsperson will experience. Olympic success and we hope it can also
Both honours are subject to Rebecca’s “I’m on the lowest level of funding,” serve as an inspiration to other young
and full council agreement, although she said. “Now, because of this [the gold swimmers to strive to match her
Mayor Egginton has already received the medals], I’ll go on to the higher level, incredible achievements.”
thumbs up from Rebecca’s parents and the which will give me a little more freedom as The Sherwood Baths refurbishment
leaders of all the Council’s political groups. to where I live and how I get around.” includes an extension of the current four-
The double victory came as something The lowest level of UK Sport funding is lane pool to six lanes, new changing
of a surprise to the teenager who was £12,000 a year. She also receives an annual rooms, a larger gymnasium facility with
planning to use the Beijing Olympics as a £1,000 from Mansfield town council to help specific changing rooms for the gym (gym
trial for her real focus – London in 2012. with travel and hotel costs, she explained, users currently share changing facilities
“My main target was always 2012; it adding that the price of competing at the with pool users) and a new multi-purpose
wasn’t actually these Olympics,” she said Olympic trials alone is more than £300. room on the first floor. spn
96 swimmingpoolnews OCTOBER 08 Digital edition available at www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk
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