When I was a child growing up in Leicester, scenes like this were commonplace at our beloved St Margret’s Swimming Baths. Here children line up to take a dive in a swimming pool in the southern German town of Denzlingen in the summer of 2012.
Attitudes are very different abroad, but here in England we have decided that it’s just too dangerous to have all these swimmers on the one board. Popular though diving may have been in the UK, one at a time and only ONE has killed the joy of diving. This has been the experience at the wonderful pool at Coventry which looks like it might soon close. The 10 meter board is already out of bounds. Diving lessons have been axed and although the lower boards can be accessed it’s on a one at a time basis. When I last visited the pool potential divers had to line up behind the lifeguard and wait for the current diver to exit the water before the next could approach the boards. Then you had to climb the ladder with ever eye focused on you, not so good for a first timer or for anyone who is a little self conscious (like the majority of teenagers). When you eventually pluck up the courage to dive the dozen or more still bothered to queue up had to wait patiently until you got out of the water before the next diver could have a go. No wonder swimming and diving are declining in the UK!
Discover why the scene above became impossible in England by reading: Hung Out to Dry Swimming and British Culture.