A CEREDIGION pool has been shortlisted for an award which could see them winning up to £25,000.
Llandysul Aqua Centre has been nominated for a ‘Britain Has Spirit’ award, which promises community groups across Britain a chance of securing £1,000 for each regional winner and a £25,000 prize for the winner of the final.
Britain Has Spirit was launched by TV personality Gabby Logan, with the purpose of rewarding community groups and volunteers, as well as encouraging people to take part in the local activities.
Five different community groups across Wales made it to the shortlist, with the winner spending their £1,000 winnings on a street party to thank their supporters.
The winner will then go onto the overall British round, where the £25,000 grand prize will be up for grabs to spend on facilities.
Iestyn ap Dafydd, Treasurer of Llandysul Swimming Pool, said: “The town had a shock two years ago when we heard that an annual grant from the council was being scrapped.
“For a while, nobody thought it would be possible for the pool to stay open. But the community came to the rescue – something Llandysul is very good at – and we suddenly found ourselves running the pool without official assistance.
“It’s been hard work, but the unstinting support of the community, which raises some £20,000 a year, just keeps the pool going.
“We’re coming into a new, exciting phase now. We’re in discussions with the council that may allow the trustees to search for grants to renovate the building and heating system.
“There are more possibilities coming along as the County Council look for a community group to run the leisure centre.
“The pool is a symbol of what rural communities can do when they have to. And it’s a symbol, really, of the strength of Llandysul and Ceredigion as we face the spending cuts that are being forced on us on a regular basis, it seems.
“Winning the Welsh round would raise our profile, and show to the whole of Wales that the spirit of the town and the county is far from beaten. It would show our pride to the nation.
“Of course, the £1,000 party to thank our supporters would be worth having too!
“Winning the final British round, and the £25,000, would make a real difference at a critical time for us, and really set Llandysul on the map.
“I’m sure that we deserve to go through to the final round – what we have achieved with the pool so far is remarkable. But we need to win the Welsh round first!
“So, I’m appealing to everyone who wants to see the pool succeed to vote on the Britain Has Spirit website, and do so every day until the contest is over. Thank you very much!”
Llandysul Aqua Centre has recently celebrated its 40 year anniversary since it was built and opened by the community.
The pool has a ‘Swim School’ that provides weekly swimming lessons to around 200 children, and a new Swimming Club, which is going from strength to strength.
The pool provides important employment opportunities for local sixth form pupils, as well as being a hub for the town’s recreational activities, including pool parties and aqua aerobics sessions.
The winners of the competition will be decided by public vote online at the Britain Has Spirit website, where supporters will be able to vote once a day until Friday June 17.