They say that the best things in life are worth waiting for. That theory was tested to its limits in the case of a world-class facility for swimming and diving in Aberdeen. Happily, the Aquatics Centre, which is the latest addition to Aberdeen Sports Village, was worth the wait.
Officially opened in May 2014, the £22 million multi-purpose facility was a collaborative effort between the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council and sportscotland, and is accessible to the entire community. Designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects, the building is separated into two distinct areas, one for swimming and one for diving, which flow seamlessly together, creating a synergy
in both form and function between the two sports.
The gleaming Olympic-standard fifty metre pool is bathed in natural light and brimming with cutting edge equipment and technology. From the moveable boom that can divide the pool in two, to the underwater cameras, this is a pool equally suited for hosting international competitions, training performance swimmers or teaching youngsters their first strokes.
The diving pool, one of only ten in the UK with the full complement of springboards and platforms, will take your breath away, and that is before the diving begins. Even from the elevated spectator area, the ten metre platform seems impossibly high. Fortunately, the bottom of the twenty-five metre pool below can be lowered which, combined with the water-cushioning system, means anyone can safely have a go, if they dare.
Both pools run a comprehensive programme of public sessions, private tuition and club training. If you are more likely to find yourself spectating, the Centre’s café makes a great coffee, or maybe you would prefer to melt your cares away in the sauna and steam room. Whatever brings you to the Aquatics Centre, you will know as soon as you walk through the door that this place is exactly what Aberdeen was waiting for.