THE swimming pool at the Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex in Bellshill was reopened last week following the completion of a £760,000 refurbishment programme.
To mark the occasion a special gala was held featuring young swimmers from North Lanarkshire’s four competitive swimming clubs - Bellshill Sharks, Motherwell and Wishaw, Airdrie & Monklands and Cumbernauld.
The pool was closed in September to allow the work to be undertaken and the refurbished facility includes new tile surrounds, new spectator seating and a £50,000 state of the art Omega timing system for competitive swimming for the local club and other galas.
Other areas of the pool area, which originally opened in 1966, have been completely modernised with the introduction of a village changing complex with new tiles, lockers, showers, toilets, lighting, vanity areas, dedicated family and disabled changing cubicles.
Around 265 young swimmers aged between six and 14 years took part in the gala which was supported by John Deans, newly elected president of the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association, and West District president Ian Fleming.
Among those who attended the opening was Bellshill councillor Harry McGuigan, who was also at the original opening of what was the former Bellshill Baths in 1966.
He said: “I know that through the competitive swimming clubs we have a proud pedigree of producing good swimmers in North Lanarkshire.
“I’m sure that this facility will once again be a great auditorium for short course swimming training and competition.
“This investment demonstrates the importance that North Lanarkshire Leisure, sportscotland and the Council place on swimming and indeed the benefits of physical activity.”
Councillor Harry Curran added: “I know how much hard work and effort that these young swimmers and the clubs put into training for their sport and it certainly paid off as the majority of tonight’s swimmers from the youngest to the oldest turned in personal best times.”