Thursday, 20 September 2012

Olympics legend and Swimathon President Duncan Goodhew coming to Leeds to inspire next generation

Caption: Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew will be in Leeds on Monday

British swimming legend Duncan Goodhew will be in Leeds next Monday inspiring potential stars of the future.

The 100 metre breaststroke gold medallist from the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow will be coaching a group of approximately 60 young swimmers aged eight to 12 at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport from 6:30pm-7:30pm on Monday 24 September.

The group of swimmers are all part of the City of Leeds Swimming Club, which won the right to have Duncan Goodhew visit after recruiting the most swimmers of any club in the country to take part in this year’s charity Swimathon Weekend event in April. As Swimathon President, Duncan will be passing on his tips and advice to the young swimmers during the coaching session to help them improve their techniques.

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All media are invited to attend the coaching session at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds on Monday 24 September. Duncan Goodhew will be available for media interviews from 6-6:30pm before the one-hour coaching session takes place. Media wishing to attend are asked to express their interest by calling Roger Boyde on 0113 247 5472 or email
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Swimathon President and Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew said:

“I am very much looking forward to meeting and teaching the Swimathon Weekend 2012 participants at the John Charles Centre for Sport on Monday. These young swimmers can expect to be put through their paces as I have a few Olympic drills to share which will not only inspire, but will ensure they go on to swim longer and faster than ever before.”

The City of Leeds swimmers are all part of Leeds City Council’s Swimming Training Scheme based at the Aquatics Centre, and Leeds City Council aquatics manager Andrew Learmonth said:

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Duncan Goodhew to Leeds and we know our young swimmers are going to enjoy meeting him and listening to what he has to say.

“The slogan of London 2012 was ‘inspire a generation’ and this fits in perfectly with that, as hopefully a future Olympic gold medallist or two will be in the group listening to someone who has been there and reached the very top of the sport.”

This year, 33 City of Leeds swimmers took part in the Swimathon Weekend raising £3,350 for charity.

Notes to editors:

Leeds City Council’s Leeds Swimming Training Scheme provides opportunities in the sport of swimming for all ages and from recreational to elite level. In total there are over 250 people taking part in the scheme on a daily and weekly basis.

For further information about the scheme email or call 0113 395 0001.

Swimathon started in 1986 and since then more than half a million swimmers have taken part, raising over £36 million for charity. For more information visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leeds City Council,
Senior communications officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, email:

Breathing new life into empty homes

A large former council property in Chapeltown has just been refurbished by Unity Housing Association to turn it into a six-bedroom family home.

The Victorian detached house on Sholebroke Avenue, Leeds, was previously used by the NHS and has been empty since the 2009.

As part of the councils objective to bringing empty properties back into use, it has worked in partnership with Unity Housing Association to negotiate the sale of the property to bring it back into use as a family home which has been let to a family on the Leeds Housing Register.

As part of the refurbishment the property will benefit from many energy saving measures including wall/cavity insulation and solar hot water. These improvements will make the house much more energy efficient and affordable for the new residents. Unity Housing Association awarded the refurbishment contract to local builder CW Christopher who employed two local people to work on the refurbishment.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development said:

“We have been undertaking a lot of work across the city with both the private and public sector to try and bring empty homes back into use.

“We are well aware of the need for more homes, and this is one excellent example of the council working with partners to offer families and people on the housing register in Leeds a good home.

“Unity Housing have done an excellent job and it is great to see a large family house opened up to a family needing the space on the housing register.”

Wayne Noteman the regeneration director at Unity Housing Association said:

“In the absence of lots of funding being available to build new homes, the increasing need for social housing and the need to bring empty properties back into use, the refurbishment of this and other properties like it shows what can be achieved when organisations work together to bring these valuable resources back into use.

“The property was built around the 1900 and is situated in a conservation area, with this in mind a great deal of effort was made to retain as many of the original features as possible”.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Statement regarding announcement of Leeds Bradford Super Connected Cities funding allocation

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and the economy said:
“Today’s announcement of £14.4m funding for Leeds and Bradford is excellent news, and the fact that we have been allocated the top amount of funding that we asked for shows an enormous amount of confidence in the proposals we put forward.

“This funding will enable us to transform our economy and set standards for international competitiveness.

“Our ambitious proposals will support both existing and new businesses, as well as local residents to take advantage of the opportunities that enhanced broadband connections will bring.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578