The resurgence of Wirksworth Community Swimming Pool was recognised after it was named the Community Award winner at a recent sports award.
The venue won the accoldade at the Derby Telegraph Sports Awards, which is held in association with Derbyshire Sport and Champions UK.
The prestigious Sports Awards event – celebrating its 10th year – brought together the cream of sporting talent and most devoted unsung heroes from across the count.
And representatives of the Derbyshire Dales facility were delighted to discover it had beaten off competition from Amber Valley’s Rachel Basile and Bolsover’s Louise Fox to land the top prize in its category.
“This is a reward for the community of Wirksworth who have supported the project so well over the past three or four years,” said Rob Pearson, a trustee of the charity which runs the Wirksworth Community Swimming Pool.
“The customers, the children we teach, the staff and the trustees – everyone has come together to make sure the pool has gone from strength to strength.
“We have such a strong place in the local community and I think that is why it has worked, along with a lot of hard work.”
The pool at Wirksworth has undergone a transformation since the running of it was taken on by the community in 2012.
The pool now provides formal lessons for local schools, one-on-one lessons for individuals with special educational needs, aquafit classes for senior community members and aqua-toddlers for new-born babies.
Among the 350-plus people currently learning to swim at the venue is a 92-year-old lady and there are plans to raise over £400,000 for an extension that will allow the pool to be used for the next 40 years.
Others from the Derbyshire Dales district shortlisted as a finalist in their categories, but not selected as an overall winners, were promising Ashbourne skier Elektra Brown (Junior Sportsperson of the Year) and Helen Hutchinson (Active4Life Award), who runs Healthy Hearts exercise classes at Ashbourne Leisure Centre.
Local winners from Derbyshire’s nine areas were automatically forwarded as nominees at county level as part of the judging process.
The panel of sports officials and Derby Telegraph sports staff who drew up the night’s shortlist – with three contenders in each category.
The night was hosted by former snooker player turned commentator Willie Thorne and 2004 Olympic Games badminton mixed doubles silver medallist Gail Emms, who played for Team Derby in the inaugural National Badminton League (NBL) in 2014-15.