The London Assembly have produced an interesting report into the availability of public pools in London today. The picture above is reproduced from their document. It shows, in red, areas that are more than a mile from a public swimming pool.
It looks like Ealing is not providing as many public pools as it might but it seems that the Assembly have got their facts wrong. The Assembly reckon that today 64% of people in Ealing live more than a mile from a public pool although this number will drop to 56% when Northolt Swimarama re-opens. It seems they do not count the Dormers Wells pool because it is on a school site. It is fully accessible to the public though and is run by contractor GLL on behalf of Ealing as is Gurnell. I visited both of these sites last month and they are both very well run and, most importantly, clean.
As a sportsman myself the report seems a little strange as it does not mention provision of 50 metre pools – there are only two in London which really is a scandal. Gurnell is one, the other being at Crystal Palace.
As well as having one of London’s two 50 metre pools Ealing is also home to the awesome Ealing Swimming Club. They are probably the best London swimming club and certainly one of the best in the country. With 900 members they are one of the biggest sports clubs in Ealing. Politicians can go on about sport as much as they like but it is the volunteers who run bodies like Ealing Swimming Club that really drive sport.