By Nick Butler

buildingAugust 9 - British Swimming has confirmed that the Sheffield venue of Ponds Forge will continue its role as the home of Britain's top swimming, diving and synchronised swimming events by hosting a further six high-profile competitions in 2014.

These will consist of both the British Gas Diving Championships and the British Gas Synchronised Swimming Championships where Britain's best will be in action, including divers hoping to qualify for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The British Gas Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) National Championships and the British Gas National County Team Championships will also be held in a showcase of Britain's top swimming talent.

The line up will be completed by two age group events in the British Gas ASA National Masters and Senior Age Group Championships and the British Gas ASA National Age and Youth Championships.

The latest announcement follows a similarly full programme of events in 2013 which featured the British Gas Synchronised Swimming Championships as well as events for Paralympic athletes.

tom daleyLondon 2012 bronze medalist Tom Daley - pictured here at the recent FINA World Championships in Barcelona - will be one of the stars returning to Ponds Forge in 2014

Since being built in March 1991, Ponds Forge has hosted a variety of commercially viable events in addition to widespread use by the local community. 

Numerous athletes use Ponds Forge as a training base, including Olympians Rebecca Turner, Ellie Faulkner and Nick Robinson-Baker, World Paratriathlon champion Steve Judge and Paralympic swimmer James Crisp.

In the past this list also included the 2004 Athens Olympic silver medal winning diver Leon Taylor.

Ponds Forge also regularly hosts a number of Britain's junior squad from the city of Sheffield swim club, with this group winning 20 medals including ten titles at the recent National Age Groups and Youth Championships held at the venue.

Richard Apps, general manager of Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, said: "Sheffield and its sporting venues, including Ponds Forge, have repeatedly shown that they are capable of hosting world level events at elite and grassroots levels.

"We are delighted British Swimming has shown its commitment to Ponds with the announcement of these events which not only attract competitors from across the country, but also spectators.

"We have a long standing and successful relationship with British Swimming and this news means we can continue to offer world class, competitive swimming from the city of Sheffield to the British public."

pf swim poolState of the art Ponds Forge in Sheffield will remain the home for British Swimming's top competitions in 2014

Claire Davenport, head of events at British Swimming, also reasserted that "British Swimming has an excellent relationship with Ponds Forge and Sheffield City Council, having held a host of national and home international events in the fantastic facility over a number of years.

"We will continue to work with our partners in Sheffield to bring a programme of events to the City in the future," she added.

The programme will bring economic benefit of around £8 million ($12 million/€9 million) to Sheffield when hotel costs and spending by visitors are taken into account, it is claimed.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, Sheffield City Council's Cabinet member for Culture, was therefore unsurprisingly another to be delighted and said:

"It's extremely positive to see these elite events return to Ponds Forge and major events like this play a major role in the economic strategy of the city bringing more than £8 million ($12 million/€9 million) into the city annually.

"As well as being a major contributor to Sheffield's economy, an events programme also acts as a massive inspiration for people in Sheffield and South Yorkshire to become active themselves after seeing such fantastic, elite sports people come to our city."