Adam Peaty: 2022 Commonwealth Games Facility Can Inspire The Next Generation

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Photo Courtesy: Swim England

Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Adam Peaty believes the new pool facility being built for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, can inspire a new generation.

Peaty, who is currently in Budapest with London Roar as they prepare for the ISL semi-final on Saturday, first came to international  prominence at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where he won the 100m breaststroke and was second over 50m.

The eight-time world champion has continually voiced his concern about the effect of pool closures in England, most recently in the last week following the second lockdown in the wake of the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Adam Peaty Campaign Image 3 (1)

Photo Courtesy: Birmingham 2022

Peaty hails from Uttoxeter, a market town in Staffordshire in the English West Midlands, which is roughly 40 miles from Sandwell where the pool is being built for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

He spoke to Birmingham 2022 as part of a campaign which features elite athletes who have an association with the West Midlands and said he believes the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre will leave a lasting legacy, regionally and nationally.

Peaty said:

“People shouldn’t underestimate how much a facility investment can help the local area, but it’s also a national investment.

“Competitions after the Games will be coming [to Sandwell] from left, right and centre.

“Never underestimate how much that brings, especially to local teams, local athletes and how much it inspires them.

“Hopefully we can secure that next generation of athletes.”

Construction of the £73 million facility is on time and on budget, and is set to be completed in spring 2022, ready to host swimming, para swimming and diving events at the Commonwealth Games.

The building will be officially open for public use in May 2023, with a 50m pool, 25m diving pool, a community pool, gym, sports hall and seats for up to 1,000 spectators.

Peaty started competing with the Dove Valley club in Uttoxeter before moving on to City of Derby where he came together with coach Mel Marshall, a partnership that has led to Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth titles and world records.

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Photo Courtesy: @adam_peaty

Peaty and partner Eiri Munro became first-time parents in September when son George-Anderson was born.

The prospect of George-Anderson watching on in the stands at the Games – when six days of swimming starting on 29 July will be followed by a five-day diving programme – is an inspirational one.

“Obviously he’s a baby now, but when he does get to that age where he looks up to me and wants to see me do well, that will be a huge motivation for me.

“It’s going to have a huge impact on how I’m going to feel before I get up on those blocks.

“It’s going to be very exciting, hopefully I’ll have fans in the stands where my family can watch as well, and it brings it all back home for me.”

The 25-year-old had a pool lowered into his backyard by a crane enabling him to continue in the water during the first lockdown.

The pandemic and its subsequent repercussions has taken its toll in many ways and Peaty believes the 2022 Games will be an opportunity to come together and celebrate.

“We’ve got to treat these events not just as a celebration of sport but of everyone coming together.

“A home Commonwealth Games is one of the best things the country can do. I think it’s going to be so special to have it in the Midlands, the heart of the country.

“I love Birmingham; I love the shopping, the nightlife, the food, the people, so if you combine all that, and put a Games there, I think the legacy will take care of itself.”

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