Ripon leisure centre named after local Olympic hero Jack Laugher
Last updated Dec 14, 2021
Jack celebrates his medal winning performance. Photo: Team GB

Ripon Leisure Centre is set to become the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre in honour of the local Olympic hero.

Jack Laugher’s family home is in Littlethorpe, near Ripon. He attended Ripon Grammar School and learned to dive with the Harrogate and District Diving Club.

He became Great Britain’s first Olympic champion in diving alongside his partner Chris Mears at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He followed it up with an individual silver to become the most successful British diver ever.

In the years that followed he achieved three gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a bronze and silver medal in the 3m individual and synchro springboard events respectively at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju and a bronze medal in the 3m springboard at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The council has said the new six-lane 25 metre pool at the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre is now set to open “early in the new year” after a number of delays due to problems in construction.

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Jack Laugher said:

“I’m truly honoured that Harrogate Borough Council have named the new facility in Ripon the Jack Laugher Leisure and Wellness Centre.

“As a city I grew-up in and a district where I learned to swim and dive, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would have a facility named after me.

“I hope this new pool and the diving facilities in Harrogate encourage others to follow their dreams like I have.”

Councillor Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, and chair of the board of directors at Brimhams Active, said:

“The addition of the new swimming pool is a major development for Ripon and shows our commitment to providing modern and fit-for-purpose leisure facilities.

“Jack may not have had this opportunity if it wasn’t for his perseverance and determination, and the leisure facilities available across the Harrogate district. I am therefore delighted that we have named the new facility after him.

“The pool will open early in the new year and I hope everyone, irrespective of disability, gender, age, race, sexual orientation or religion use this fantastic new facility.”