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operator clubs, given the development and operational costs of pools. How- ever, the report also shows that we are witnessing a decreasing number of pools opening in the private health club sec- tor as club openings in that sector move towards low cost operations – many of which do not have pool facilities. In the public sector, there has been an


increase in centres with new pool open- ings. In the 12 months to 31 March 2011 there were 27 new pool openings. The top five trusts and leisure management contractors operate 20 per cent of the UK public pool market.


BOOSTING PARTICIPATION The report reveals that technology will play an important role in encouraging further swimming participation. For example Splashpath, the free


mobile application, encourages more people to swim more often with readily available, real-time pool and timetable information. Already there are more than 26,000 swimmers and more than 100 op- erators using Splashpath to promote their pools, all of which are location-aware.


Issue 4 2011 © cybertrek 2011


It’s good to see that the pool stock remains relatively stable but we’ll want to continually


monitor this situation as public sector reductions in funding could have significant impact in the future


Splashpath is now seen as an industry solution to increasing swimming partici- pation. The application has witnessed more than 600 people per week sign up to find out where and when to swim.


INVESTMENTS IN UNDERSTANDING Industry bodies have welcomed the re- port for the value it brings to the sector. “We know that swimming remains a


massive participation sport and activity, but we still need to grow the market and the numbers participating regularly,” says Andy Reed, chair of Sport and Recreation Alliance and independent board member of the ASA. “Reports suggest that latent demand for swimming remains high so providing this kind of detailed information


can help us all plan to meet this growth. It’s good to see that the pool stock re- mains relatively stable but we will want to continually monitor this situation as public sector reductions in funding could have a significant impact in the future.” Sean Holt, CEO of IMSPA agrees:


“These figures aid in planning and pro- viding relevant services to the sports and leisure sectors and enable us to meet the opportunities arising from the Olympic momentum.” The report also details the age and size


of swimming pool stock as well as pool facilities and recent changing room refur- bishments. More details are available on www.theleisuredatabase.com or +44 (0)20 7395 6177. ●


Read Sports Management online sportsmanagement.co.uk/digital 33


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