A SWIMMING star helped make a splash as she became the first customer through the door of a new £16million sports centre.
City of Sunderland Amateur Swimming Club member Nicole Lough helped launch Haven Point in South Shields.
The 18-year-old, who claimed a bronze in the International Paralympic Committee World Championships in the 100m breastroke in Canada, was disappointed not to be able to take part in the first swim after suffering a wrist and thumb injury while training in Tenerife last Thursday.
However, she was delighted to back the venue, and was accompanied by her mum Sheryl McKenna, dad Andi Lough and brother Ryan Lough, as she carried out the honour.
She said: “It was great to be invited here. It would’ve been great to have a pool like this when I was starting swimming.
“The facilities are great.”
The seafront venue, which has opened six months behind its original launch date, has been touted as a new training facility for swimmers including Nicole and Paralympian swimmer Josef Craig,
As well as a 25-metre pool, 18-metre training pool, water slides, sprays, bubble spa and play section, Haven Point also boasts an outdoor amphitheatre.
It also has a meeting room, dance studios and an 86-station gym.