FORMER Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew gave youngsters a coaching session to mark the refurbishment of their pool.
The pool, at Chester-le-Street Leisure Centre, is now more energy efficient after British Gas upgraded the building’s heating and lighting.
Duncan, 56, whose son is studying at Northumbria University, said: “Modernised heating and ventilation means the pool here in Chester-le-Street is a nicer place for users and the council has a smaller energy bill, so everyone’s a winner.
“I hope people in the area will take advantage of what’s been done by making use of the pool.”
Duncan, who won Olympic gold in 1980, added: “I run a number of coaching projects aimed at getting youngsters into swimming.
“There are also a number of companies, such as British Gas, who ask me to help with their swimming-related projects.
“In some ways I’m more involved in swimming now than when I won the gold medal.
“But these days my time is spent in the boardroom as well as in the pool.”
The work at Chester-le-Street is part of a £1.3million scheme to reduce energy consumption at four public buildings owned by Durham County Council.
The council estimates its energy bill will be reduced by £151,530 a year, and carbon emissions reduced by 787 tonnes a year.