Adam Peaty calls for better sports funding amid success of Games and Euros

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

The English swimmer, who on Wednesday won the Commonwealth Games in the 50m breaststroke and added the only major title he lacked to his collection, said authorities should stop closing pools and facilities.

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

“We really need people in power to stop closing pools and facilities. We need to hold government and councils accountable to make sure we invest in facilities across the country.”

A UK Active study released in June found that up to 79% of public entertainment venues could be forced to close their doors in the next six months due to rising electricity prices.

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

“People struggle to deal with life and their emotions.

“You need access to sports and amenities. I know that if I wake up in the morning and I’m angry, I go to the gym.

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

What’s the point of investing £24 million every four years in British swimming if we can’t invest in the next generation who needs these pools open?Adam Peaty

“So many people from all walks of life use the pools, and not just those involved in elite sports. It’s important to learn how to swim.”

It came as a national celebration of the Lionesses’ 2-1 victory over Germany in the Euro Final sparked calls for an overhaul of physical education (PE) classes.

The lionesses wrote an open letter to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, demanding that all schoolgirls have access to sports for at least two hours a week.

All 23 members of the England women’s team called on the Conservative candidates to prioritize women’s football because “this generation of schoolgirls deserves better”.

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English Chloe Kelly celebrating a goal (Joe Giddens/Pennsylvania)

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

Meanwhile, Peaty warned that the government risked “shooting itself in the foot” if it didn’t seize the moment.

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

“You are shooting yourself in the foot. Over the past few years, the government has taken away a lot of pools and investments.”

Peaty appeared before the committee on digital, culture, media and sports in November to urge athletes to ensure greater funding stability, and said it was the government’s responsibility to take action and provide such support.

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

“(Government) needs to fund the population, they need to invest in entertainment centers, buses and everything in between. The lottery can do not much,” he said.

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

Peaty, who works with the Swim United program to encourage kids to go to the pools, told the Mirror on Thursday that swimming “should be accessible to everyone.”

He said: “When I was younger you could swim for £1 and in the summer for free. It must be available to everyone. We are facing a cost-of-living crisis where people have to choose whether to eat or heat their homes.”