DT1: Concerns for safety push triathlon back

Dorset Echo: STORM DAMAGE: Dorchester Leisure Centre. STORM DAMAGE: Dorchester Leisure Centre.

CONTINUING problems with a roof damaged by the February storms have caused a major event at the Dorchester Sports Centre to be postponed.

A section of the main pool at the centre, which opened in October 2012, has been roped off for several weeks and now the popular Dorchester Triathlon due to be held on Sunday, May 25 has been put back three months.

West Dorset District Councillor and user of the centre Molly Rennie said that, while it was disappointing to see a major event being delayed, everything possible was being done to address the damage.

She said the main issue was not the cost of the work but making sure it was safe.

Cllr Rennie said that having a section of the pool roped off was clearly causing an inconvenience for some but the operators 1610 simply could not put members of the public at risk.

She said: “I’m sure the public wouldn’t want us to take that risk.”

Cllr Rennie said that one positive to come out of the circumstances was more people discovering the many other facilities available at the centre apart from the pool.

A spokesman for 1610 said the Dorchester Triathlon, which is jointly organised by Total Buzz events, would now take place on August 31. The spokesman said: “A large section of the sports centre roof was severely damaged by winter storms in February, which has meant that part of the leisure centre swimming pool has been cordoned off for safety reasons.

“It was with great regret that 1610 has decided to postpone the Dorchester Triathlon, which was due to take place on Sunday, May 25, until later in the summer.

“1610 apologises for the inconvenience that this may mean for many competitors wishing to take part in the triathlon but the safety of the event had to take priority in the decision to reschedule.”

The spokesman added that anyone who is unable to take part on the rearranged date in August will get a full refund if they email info@totalbuzzevents.com The spokesman added that 1610 was working with West Dorset District Council, which owns the building, to resolve the problem with the roof as soon as possible so the centre can become fully operational again.

The main pool and learner pool are still open to the public from 6am to 11pm but five metres at the deep end of the 25-metre pool remains cordoned off until further notice.

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