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FINA 2009 World Championships Swimming - Day 3 Morning Session

David Davies took five seconds off the 800m Freestyle British record as the British Gas swimming team secured one final and three semi-final places after strong performances through the heat session. Davies took to heat four alongside Italian Federico Colbertaldo and Robert Hurley (Australia) and was looking to post a quick time to reach the final next day.

The Olympic silver medallist dominated the first half of his race but as the race entered the final 400m Colbertaldo began to close in on the British Gas swimmer. Davies showed his strength in the final 100m as he touched in a time of 7:45.89 to knock five seconds off his own British record time and qualified in fourth place for the final.

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Bradshaw - and Wogan - hail free swimming success

New figures released today show that young people and senior citizens have taken the plunge more than 4.4 million times thanks to the Government’s £140m free swimming initiative – a key part of plans to ensure a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by getting more people physically active.

More than a thousand local authority pools in England have been offering free swimming to 20 million people aged 16 and under, or 60 and over, since April – with more than 250 councils backing the scheme.

The figures for the first three months of the scheme have been welcomed by the five Government departments funding the initiative, by swimming’s governing body and by the broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, who has joined actor and comedian David Walliams in championing free swimming.

Fears for Exeter swimming pool cash

Fears are growing that money earmarked for refurbishing Exeter's aging swimming pool may be used to plug the city museum's multi-million pound funding gap. The Echo previously revealed that the refurbishment of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum is around £3m over-budget and six months behind schedule because of defects discovered in the building's foundations.

Now councillors and the city's swimming club are concerned that £2m due to be returned from the collapsed Icelandic banks — initially intended for a new swimming pool to replace the Pyramids — may be spent on bringing the project back on track.

Olympian effort to save St Michael's School pool

Children from St Michael's Middle School in Colehill, Dorset have been making a splash in a bid to keep their swimming pool open.

The pupils were challenged to take part in 2012, which involved 20 minutes swimming and 12 minutes running, with money raised through sponsorship going to a fund to pay for essential maintenance work on the indoor pool. Organised by the school sport co-ordinator, Katrina Cole, the challenge was held on 1 July 2009 during National School Sports Week.

The ASA appoints new Head to lead swimming facilities push

The ASA has appointed Ian McKenzie in the role of its new Head of Facilities, with the task of spearheading efforts to rejuvenate the country’s swimming pools.

McKenzie has 23 years experience in working with capital programmes and as Head of Facilities Development at sportscotland has handled £300m worth of projects, including the national swimming centre at Tollcross Park Leisure Centre.

Locals asked to give their views on a new swimming pool for Dorchester

The designs for the new leisure centre swimming pool were unveiled to local people at Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre on 25 June 2009 with a planning application due to be submitted in July. Work on the estimated £8m replacement for Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre could begin in the New Year, with the new facility open in early 2011.

There will be a 25-metre, six lane pool with a 150-seat spectator gallery, learner pool, dance studio and a 60 station fitness suite with views over Maiden Castle.

Headteacher of Thomas Hardye School and Chairman of the Swimming Pool Project Board, Dr Iain Melvin said: "This is a crucial stage in the work to provide a new swimming pool in Dorchester. It is very important that as many people as possible see and comment on the plans. I hope many residents will try to attend the consultation. They will be very welcome."

The ASA offers free swimming roadshows

Pool providers and local authorities are being invited to attend FREE roadshows which will show them how the ASA can help them deliver the government’s Free Swimming initiative and discover how they can secure more funding for adult swimming lessons.
The roadshows, which will be held in locations across the country, will also explain how the ASA will use its recent restructure to embark on an ambitious programme of improvement that will ultimately make a culture change in swimming.

School pool under threat of closure

The popular indoor pool at St Michael's Middle School in Colehill will be forced to close at the end of term unless an influx of cash can be found. It gets no funding from the government or local authorities and relies on voluntary contributions to keep open. Maintenance costs are increasing and now £6,000 has to be spent immediately to keep it open. However a lifeline has been thrown to the school.

At an emergency meeting with the School Association, which runs the pool, the Swimming Pool Action Group, SPAG, came up with a plan which if successful will give it a new lease of life.

Free swimming proves a big success in Dorchester

The number of older people using Dorchester's Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre has tripled since free swimming for the over 60s was introduced. And the number of people aged 16 and under using the centre's pools has doubled since 1 April.

The unprecedented success of the free swimming scheme means the centre in Coburg Road is tweaking its swimming timetable to make sure everyone can enjoy the pools. Centre Manager Kevin King said that from 1 June a number of extra adult-only sessions will be introduced.

Shaftesbury Leisure looking for people with skills to offer

Creditors have met at the Gillingham office of Andrews and Palmer chartered accountants as liquidators Buchanans continue the winding up of Shaftesbury Community Pool Company.

Phil Bevis, a director of Andrews and Palmer, had offered the use of the offices to the Southampton-based company as a convenient venue. He said: "We give considerable help to charities and voluntary organisations in the area and although we are not involved in the winding up, by offering a venue for the meeting we can do something to help the community save its pool. It is part of making sure the new pool will be on a sound footing to go forward under the new company, Shaftesbury Leisure Limited."

The new company aims to re-open the pool in June. The directors are inviting people to get in touch if they have skills to offer that could reduce the running costs. They are looking to appoint paid lifeguards and volunteer receptionists who would be able to swim for free. They also want to hear from anyone interested in other duties such as cleaning, sponsorship and fundraising.

Free Swimming Capital Moderninsaton Programme 2008 - 2011 Round 2

Round 2 of this funding programme will be open for applications from 1 August 2009.

Further guidance and information will be published on the Sport England website from 15 June 2009 to enable applicants to start preparing their submissions.

Sport England and the Amateur Swimming Assocation will be running pre-application advice workshops in each region to update local authorities on eligibility criteria, priorities for funding, the application process and timescales for this round.