Aberdeen Sports Village's (ASV) highly anticipated world class Aquatics Centre has officially opened its doors to the public.
With a 50m, 10 lane training pool and 25m pool with diving facilities, the Olympic standard £22million centre has, from concept to completion, been three years in the making, and is now open for all to enjoy.
More than 1,000 children and adults have already registered for the learn-to -swim and learn-to-dive programmes, which will take place in the elite standard 25m pool; the centre will also be open for public swimming at all times.
As one of only ten facilities in the UK with full diving facilities and platforms up to ten metres, a Diving Development programme has also been established to encourage and support 64 children demonstrating great diving potential to hone their ability. A master’s squad is to be introduced for talented and experienced adult divers who wish to develop and compete, and, when at full capacity, has the potential to support 132 athletes at any one time.
David Beattie, chief executive at ASV, said: “There has been a real buzz around the greatly anticipated opening of the centre, and we are absolutely delighted to open our doors today to show off this fantastic facility to the local community.”
As well as being open to casual swimmers, several schools and a large number of clubs, including Woodlands School and The Aberdeen Physically Disabled Club, have signed up to use the centre. School children from the Saltire Schools project, sponsored by Saltire Energy will also make use of the facilities.
Mr Beattie continued: “This world class facility, in the heart of the city, is absolutely fantastic for Aberdeen. The level of interest and numbers registering for classes, across all ages, is testament to the impact the centre will have for the sporting community, and general public in the North East and beyond.”
“Attracting high profile events such as the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships last month is another significant advantage that the centre brings, with the impact that this type of event brings greatly benefitting the local economy. We are working with a number of other sporting bodies to secure similar high profile events in the coming months.
“We are delighted that those with real talent on a national and international level no longer have to travel to the central belt to develop their sporting ability, and are confident that the centre’s legacy will continue for many years to come.”
The Aquatics Centre is a joint project between the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council and sportscotland and also received generous support from many donors including Saltire Energy and FirstGroup.
Louise Martin CBE, chair of sportscotland, said: “It is wonderful to see the Aquatics Centre open its doors to the public today, with communities throughout Aberdeen and beyond set to benefit from this truly world-class facility.
“The partnership between Aberdeen Sports Village, Aberdeen City Council, the University of Aberdeen, and sportscotland has been crucial to the successful development of this project, as we strive to create top-class facilities across the length and breadth of Scotland.
“Our investment of £5 million has helped to deliver the final piece in the jigsaw for Aberdeen Sports Village, and I look forward to seeing the facility develop the next generation of swimmers and divers.”
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, said: “We pride ourselves on offering a world class student experience and our involvement in the state-of-the-art Aquatics Centre reaffirms our commitment. Aberdeen Sports Village will now boast some of the best sports facilities in the country and I know our students, and the rest of the community, will take full advantage of enjoying them.”
Aberdeen City Council’s convener of education, culture and sport councillor Jenny Laing said: “The official opening of the Aquatics Centre has been greatly anticipated and having seen it myself, I know people are going to be impressed.
“By working in partnership, we have a state-of-the-art aquatic facility, including a 50m pool, here in Aberdeen. This will give local people the opportunity to participate and compete in swimming, and water sports, which in turn will help to maximise the social, educational and health of physical activity for everyone in the city.
“The centre’s world class 50m pool will further enhance Aberdeen’s profile as a city that has the facilities and infrastructure to host major sporting events.
“The 25m and 50m pools and diving facilities will enable us to help nurture and support our local swimming and water sports stars of the future, right here in the city. I would encourage everyone to make full use of this amazing Aquatics Centre.”