US Paralympic swimmers to train at London Fields Lido

Hackney’s London Fields Lido will be the training ground for some of the world’s leading Paralympic swimmers, it was announced today (June 6).

The US team will use the popular pool in preparation for the 2012 Paralympic Games.

The town hall had been in discussions with both the Americans and the British swimming team over use of the lido - London’s only 50-metre heated outdoor pool - in the run-up to the sporting event.

US Paralympic swimmers will now train there for a few hours every day, under an agreement between the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and Hackney Council.

“We are thrilled to have the use of a venue of this calibre in the lead up to the 2012 Paralympic Games competition,” said Julie O’Neill, team leader of sport performance at the USOC.

“We hope the training support from this facility will translate to seeing many of our athletes on the podium during the Games.”

The USOC will pay money to the council for the use of the pool as well as providing children’s coaching for children, athlete meet-and-greets, and Olympic and Paralympic memorabilia.

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Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council’s cabinet member for health, social care and culture, said: “This is great news for Hackney and testament to the quality of the lido and its facilities. As well as encouraging people young and old to take up sport and get involved in physical activity, the council is working to ensure that we secure as many benefits for Hackney as possible.

“Now, local people can look forward to the chance of seeing Olympic athletes train and children of all abilities will receive coaching from top athletes.”