SOUTH Tyneside’s £16m swimming centre will host its first gala this weekend.
As many as 375 children from across the region will descent on Haven Point in South Shields to take part in a two-day tournament.
South Tyneside Swimming Club will face competition from 15 clubs from around the region, including Hartlepool, Chester-Le-Street, Carlisle, Newcastle, Sunderland and Wearmouth.
The gala will see the clubs competing in all types of swimming disciplines, from 50m freestyle to 400m breast stroke.
Anyone wishing to cheer on South Tyneside Swimming Club can watch from the viewing gallery.
The main pool will be closed to the public over the weekend, including swimming lessons, but the leisure pools will remain open.
Normal operating times will resume on Monday.
Councillor Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for leisure and culture, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our new leisure facility to people from across the region.
“I hope the clubs and children involved have a fantastic weekend of swimming and competition.”
Haven Point, which opened six months ago, boasts a 25-metre, eight-lane competition pool, with a hi-tech electronic scoreboard.
Both this and the new teaching pool feature movable floors, so that the pool can accommodate a range of different activities at the same time.