As I watched the news the other night and saw a report from Ross Murdoch’s old swimming pool, something struck me.
Kids in Girvan should be able to go and swim freely after being inspired by Commonwealth Games medalists like Murdoch.
The sad truth is that currently they can’t.
As a community though we all have a chance to put that right in Girvan and South Carrick.
The plans for the new leisure and community facility in Girvan are now within touching grasp.
Whilst South Ayrshire Council are still rightfully criticised for their actions when they shut down the Girvan swimming pool, they should be praised for putting up £4m towards the cost of the new building.
Praise also has to go to South Carrick Community Leisure and its chairman Andrew Sinclair and board members for the endless hours they have put in towards fighting for funding.
There is no getting away from the fact that £1m is still a massive amount of money for a community this size to raise.
But progress has been made with various funders including the Scottish Captial Regeneration Grant Fund and recently the Gazette reported that the benefits from the Tralorg Windfarm would help with the revenue costs once the building is open in 2016.
Of course, people in this area have every right to be cynical about the prospect of a new pool after what happened before.
But the legacy of a new Girvan swimming pool will be monumental andthat is why you should all get involved.
It is simply wrong that kids have to travel up to Maybole or down to Stranraer if they want a swim currently.
The pictures from Murdoch’s old pool in Alexandria after he stormed to gold in the 200m breastroke in Glasgow were a joy to behold. Kids saying they were inspired to take up the sport because of what they had seen on the television is what it is all about.
Team Scotland won ten medals in the pool during Glasgow 2014 which was a phenomenal achievement.
Who is to say that the next Ross Murdoch or Michael Jamieson or Hannah Miley isn’t living right her in Girvan or one of our beautiful villages?
Or indeed what about 13 year old Erraid Davies from Shetland who won a bronze medal in the SB9 100M breaststroke.
She trains in a pool which is smaller than the one that will be in the new Girvan swimming pool.
That just goes to show what hard work and talent can do for young swimmers.
I just wish that over the last few years youngsters in Girvan and South Carrick had been allowed to have that opportunity.
But with your help that can and WILL become a reality in the summer of 2016.
So get involved in events that are taking place to support the fundraising efforts.
The Gazette’s own Vicky Barrowcliffe is undergoing a sponsored silence from 10am-8pm on Friday 22 August for the cause. Come into the Gazette office and hand in what you can to sponsor her. Anything you donate really does help.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia’s gold coat will probably come too early, but who knows by the time 2022 comes around Girvan could have produced a world class swimmer with a chance of a Commonwealth medal.
Sport brings people together like nothing else.
Let’s make the Girvan pool areality we can be proud of.