Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Saturday, 2 August 2008 14:20 UK

Funding crisis threatens divers

Pool generic
The diving club has been using other pools for training

London's biggest diving club may be unable to train young hopefuls for the 2012 Games because of a funding crisis.

The Crystal Palace Diving Institute (CPDI) claims it could be stopped from using facilities at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre next week.

This comes after the club built up "significant" rent arrears on office and sports facilities at the site.

The London Development Agency (LDA), which owns the centre, said it was looking to find an acceptable solution.

The south London facility was evacuated and shut down when asbestos was found in the roof in September last year - six weeks ahead of a planned refurbishment.

The pool was due to re-open in June but is now unlikely to open before December.

Dry training

Chris Snode, who runs a youth diving programme at the CPDI, said they lost hundreds of members when the pool closed and were unable to pay the rent.

But the LDA said: "These arrears began before the temporary closure of the centre for essential refurbishment works.

"The LDA and Greenwich Leisure Ltd are looking to work with CPDI to find an acceptable solution."

Since the pool closure the diving club has been using pools elsewhere but has continued to use the gym for dry training.

Mr Snode said the LDA had turned down a request to waive the rent for the duration of the pool closure and claimed he was told the divers would be locked out of the gym as early as next week.

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