Commonwealth Games 2021: sneak peak inside Sandwell Aquatics Centre
Progress is being made on the centre which will host the swimming and Para Swimming competition next year
A new aquatics centre built for the Commonwealth Games is beginning to take shape.
The Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick is the only brand new venue for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and the latest progress on the facilities at the venue has been revealed.
The diving pools are now completely tiled, the moveable floor complete and steps have now been added to the 10m dive tower.
The foundations for the temporary warm up pool have also been started and 650 square metres of acoustic render has been added in the main pool hall.
Over the next few weeks, the permanent seating will be installed, the pools will be filled for the first time and the springboards will be added, as preparations for the Games continue at pace.
The centre, which is due to be completed in Spring 2022, will be the venue for the swimming and Para Swimming competition from 29 July to 3 August and the diving competition from 4 August to 8 August, meaning that the centre will be in use for all 11 days of competition at Birmingham 2022.
What’s been sad about the new aquatics centre
Sarah Barrow, a Team England diving silver medallist at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and now Swim England’s Diving Development Officer for the West Midlands region, visited the aquatics centre for the first time since February 2020
She said: “The progress that has been made on the centre is phenomenal, it will be an incredible venue for the Commonwealth Games and I know the swimmers and divers will be excited that they get to compete in the only brand new venue that will be used at Birmingham 2022.
“However, this facility is about so much more than those eleven days of sport next summer, as the Sandwell Aquatics Centre will be a crucial hub for diving in this region and I can’t wait to see young divers from across the West Midlands using these fantastic facilities.”
Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022, said: “It is wonderful to see the latest developments at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre. With the tiles laid in all of the pools, the moveable floor complete and the dive tower steps in place, you can really now get a sense of what an impressive competition venue it will be.”
The project is being overseen by Sandwell Council and Councillor Danny Millard, Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism, with a responsibility for Commonwealth Games.
He said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be here today celebrating the completion of more major construction milestones at the spectacular aquatics centre in Smethwick. The construction work has come on leaps and bounds since it began, and you can now begin to visualise how the venue will look when completed.
“At Sandwell we are incredibly excited and proud to be hosting the swimming and diving events for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The centre will be used by local people after the Games and will serve the community and wider region for decades to come.”
When does Birmingham 2022 start?
The Games will be the biggest event that Birmingham has ever hosted and the biggest international event held in the UK in the last decade.
Top athletes from the 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth will compete in the international spectacle which is seen as a celebration of the union.
Held every four years, the Games have previously been held in Manchester, England, in Melbourne, Australia, in Delhi, India, in Glasgow, Scotland and the Gold Coast, Australia since 200 - and now it’s Birmingham’s turn.
The Birmingham Commonwealth Games will get underway on 28 July with the closing ceremony on 8 August 2022, in what organisers are billing as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase the West Midlands on a global stage”.
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