Commonwealth Pool one of the top ten in the world

The Commonwealth Pool will host the diving at this summer's Games. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
The Commonwealth Pool will host the diving at this summer's Games. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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THE Commonwealth Pool has made a splash after being named one of the top ten public swimming pools in the world.

The list was drawn up by leading travel website and one of the world’s most influential guidebooks, Lonely Planet, which selected the Commie for its links to the Commonwealth Games.

The site, which had nearly 50 million page views as of April, also explained how the building is considered one of Scotland’s top 100 modern examples of architecture after it was originally built for the Commonwealth Games in 1970.

The accolade is the latest boost for the venue, which will host the diving event for the Games this July where stars such as Tom Daley will be competing for a gold medal.

The 50-metre pool was 
reopened in 2012 following a £37 million refurbishment by Edinburgh City Council.

It is now managed by Edinburgh Leisure, which also delivers swimming lessons, coaching and diving courses for all ages and has had the likes of Grace Reid and James Heatly, who will dive for Scotland this summer, in its lessons.

Lonely Planet highlighted pools which it says are great for travellers to combine with sightseeing as well as being stunning venues in themselves.

The Commie Pool was joined by other renowned pools from the London Olympic Aquatic Centre to Beijing’s Watercube Waterpark, which was transformed into Asia’s largest indoor waterpark after the 2008 Olympics.

Others included Cape Town’s Sea Point Pavilion, which boasts filtered outdoor seawater pools overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and Astoria Park, in New York, where bathers have a clear view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Claire Rusack, leisure manager at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, said it was “fantastic to be recognised”.

“Our coaching and fitness facilities are enjoyed by a wide community in Edinburgh, as well as being perfectly located for the city’s tourists to enjoy,” she said.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the Games, as well as our thousands of loyal customers and city visitors when the venue reopens to the public in August.”

Also pleased to hear the news was Warrender Swimming Club, which uses the pool to train every day and, along with Edinburgh University Swimming Club and Diving Club, will have 14 athletes competing in the Commonwealth Games. The club’s head coach, Laurel Bailey, 31, said: “It’s a fantastic facility and probably one of the best training facilities in Britain.”

THE TOP TEN

1. North Sydney Olympic Pool, Andrew Boy Charlton Pool, Prince Alfred Park Pool and Bondi Icebergs, Sydney;

2. Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh;

3. Aquatics Centre, London;

4. Bains de Paquis, Geneva;

5. Gellert Thermal Baths, Budapest;

6. Sunway Lagoon, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia;

7. Astoria Park, New York;

8. Barton Springs Pool, Austin, Texas;

9. Watercube Waterpark, Beijing;

10. Sea Point Pavilion, Cape Town.

katie.richardson@edinburghnews.com