Fears for Britain’s next generation of Olympic swimmers have been raised as leisure clubs remain closed across the country post-Covid.
Millions of people will be unable to access the "expensive" sport with 82 yet to reopen, data from Swim England reveals.
One of those at risk is the Queen’s Leisure Centre in Derby where gold medallist Adam Peaty spent years, coached from the age of 12 by fellow Olympian Mel Marshall, former head coach at City of Derby Swimming Club.
Peaty has warned of more clubs closing down because of a lack of investment.
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Even before the pandemic, Swim England had forecasted a 40% reduction in the number of available facilities by the end of the decade which would see over three million people unable to access their sports.
“Without the clubs, without the leisure centres, you can't do this sport," said Peaty.
"And this sport is very expensive. I know that when I first started, my mum was looking at pay cheque to pay cheque at how to make it work.
“Should we be doing that for the next generation of potential gold medal winners? That's an open question to the people who provide the money.”
It comes after Duncan Scott became the first British athlete to win four medals at a single Olympics, with Team GB celebrating their best swimming haul at a Games.
Peaty became the first British swimmer to successfully defend an Olympic title after roaring to victory in the men’s 100 metres breaststroke final in 57.37 seconds, the fifth fastest time in the history of the event.
Jo Stevens, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: "Team GB have had an amazing games in the pool inspiring a new generation of swimmers.
“But there’s no getting away from the fact that a decade of Tory cuts has taken its toll and swimming provision is at risk for the future.
“The Olympics legacy that should have been built on from 2012 onwards – not in medals, but in a country that puts health, physical and mental, first – is not there.
“A Labour government is urgently needed to meet the country’s ambition for sport and fitness.”
Labour have previously said the £657m spent by the Conservative administration in 2019/20 towards sports was actually a real-terms drop of more than 47%.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Derby City Council have been contacted for comment.