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Adam Peaty calls for better sport funding amid Games and Euro success

Birmingham gold medalist Adam Peaty has called for better investment in sport as he urged the government to capitalize on the success of the Commonwealth Games and England’s triumph at Euro 2022.

The England swimmer, who won the Commonwealth Games 50m breaststroke on Wednesday and added to his collection the only major title he was missing, said those in power must stop closing swimming pools and facilities.

“It has to be a platform,” the 27-year-old told the Daily Mirror.

“We really need those in power to stop the closures of swimming pools and facilities. We should hold government and councils accountable to ensure we invest in facilities across the country.”

A UK Active study published in June said up to 79% of public leisure facilities could be forced to close their doors over the next six months due to rising energy costs.

“We have to think about people’s mental health and well-being,” added the eight-time world champion.

“People struggle to deal with life and their emotions.

“They need access to sports and facilities. I know if I wake up in the morning and I’m angry, I’ll go to the gym.

“We need this to create a happier, healthier nation.

What is the use of investing £24million in British Swimming every four years if we can’t invest in the next generation that needs to open these pools?Adam Peaty

“So many people from all walks of life use pools, not just in elite sports. Learning to swim is important.”

It came as the national celebration of the Lionesses’ 2-1 win over Germany in the European Championship final sparked calls for a physical education (PE) overhaul.

The Lionesses wrote an open letter to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, demanding that all schoolgirls have access to at least two hours of physical education per week.

All 23 members of the England women’s team urged Tory leadership candidates to prioritize women’s football because “this generation of schoolgirls deserves more”.

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England’s Chloe Kelly celebrates her goal (Joe Giddens/PA)

The Euro 2022 winners warned that “women’s football has come a long way but still has a long way to go”.

Meanwhile, Peaty warned the government could risk “shooting itself in the foot” if it doesn’t seize the moment.

“What’s the point of investing £24m in British Swimming every four years if we can’t invest in the next generation that needs these pools to open?

“You’re shooting yourself in the foot. In recent years the government has taken away many pools and investments.”

Peaty appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in November to demand that athletes be given more stable funding and said the government had a responsibility to offer that support.

He added at the time that more funding was also needed at grassroots level to avoid losing future Olympic and Paralympic champions.

“(The government) has to fund the grassroots, they have to invest in recreation centers, they have to invest in coaches and everything in between. The lottery can only do so much,” he said.

“I think the government can do more to support the elite and definitely the grassroots. Stop closing recreation centers because it will bite you.”

Peaty, who works with the Swim United program to encourage children to swim, told the Mirror Thursday that swimming “must be accessible to all.”

He said: “When I was younger you could swim for £1 and for free in the summer. It must be accessible to everyone. We are facing a livelihood crisis where people must choose between eating or heating their homes.”

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/adam-peaty-calls-for-better-sport-funding-amid-games-and-euro-success-41888933.html Adam Peaty calls for better sport funding amid Games and Euro success

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