SOUTH Tyneside’s next swimming star could be setting a course for glory at the borough’s newest pool.
Nicole Lough and Josef Craig have already made a global splash – winning a clutch of medals representing the borough and Great Britain – and now the next generation of South Tyneside swimming talent can shape their futures at Haven Point.
Nicole Lough, bronze medal winner at the recent International Paralympic Committee World Championships in Canada, took her first look at the complex while young members of South Tyneside Swimming Club enjoyed the very first swim.
More than 20 members of the club made a big splash in the pool – and delighted head coach Paul Robinson can’t wait for their next visit.
Haven Point boasts a 25-metre, eight-lane competition pool, as well as a moveable hydraulic floor, meaning the pool’s depth can be varied.
Mr Robinson said: “The new facilities are fantastic. It’s great that South Tyneside can create something so spectacular.
“For our 300 members to be able to use facilities like this is a massive boost.
“It is really exciting for everyone at the club.
“The youngsters coming through have got top-class facilities here. They can reach their potential here and go on to achieve what people like Josef Craig has.”
Nicole, 18, was joined by mum Sheryl McKenna, dad Andi Lough and brother Ryan Lough at the opening.
She was disappointed not to be able to take part in the first swim after suffering a wrist and thumb injury while training in Tenerife last Thursday.
But she was delighted to be Haven Point’s first customer and see the results of a massive investment programme.
She said: “It was great to be invited here. It would’ve been great to have a pool like this when I was starting swimming. The facilities are great.”