Calls for new Ripon swimming pool to be named after Olympic hero Jack Laugher

Big celebrations have been promised across Ripon as the city prepares to welcome home its double Olympic medalist Jack Laugher following his Rio heroics.

Friday, 19th August 2016, 11:16 am
Updated Friday, 19th August 2016, 12:19 pm
Jack Laugher and Chris Mears
Jack Laugher and Chris Mears

Ripon watched on proudly as its favourite son clinched gold in the 3m synchronised springboard before winning adding a silver medal in the individual 3m springboard.

Jack’s feats propelled him to sporting stardom across the country and Ripon City Council are now planning how to properly celebrate his return home.

While no plans are officially in place for Jack’s homecoming, Ripon’s City Development Manager Alan Weston has stressed the diver will be welcomed home in style.

He said: “Ripon is very proud of Jack’s achievements. To come away from the Olympics with a gold and a silver medal is just fantastic.

“We know that the people of Ripon would like to show how proud they are of what Jack has done and have an opportunity to celebrate with him and his family.

“Now that the Olympics are over for Jack, we hope that he enjoys a well-deserved break and thoughts turn to liaising with him and his family about welcoming him back to his home City.”

The Union Jack flag was flying high outside Ripon City Council’s offices following Jack’s initial success on Wednesday evening (August 10).

Council staff also decorated the city hall with Union Jack buntings and golden balloons with Ripon residents calling for a lasting recognition of the 21-year-old’s achievements.

These calls were echoed by Coun Mike Chambers who revealed he would be putting forward a proposition to rename Ripon’s new swimming pool in Jack’s honour at the next council meeting.

He said: “Jack is a true Riponian and we are all immensely proud of him but there now has to be proper recognition of his achievements and hard work over the years.

“I would love to see Jack get freedom of the city but I also know we are getting a new swimming pool, although it’s taken longer than some might have expected.

“I’m going to propose that we name this new pool after him. It would be the appropriate thing to do and will hopefully inspire younger people to emulate his success.”

Former Mayor of Ripon, Coun Pauline McHardy described the atmosphere in the city as ‘electrifying’ and explained how the positive news will inspire Ripon’s younger generation for the future.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted, the same as everybody else from Ripon. I’m like a dog with two tails, the atmosphere in the city has been electrifying.

“We are going to organise something to welcome Jack back but of course there will be a lot of preparations.

“This is a huge thing for Ripon, it’s going to inspire our young people to think that it’s possible for everybody to do something.”