Simmonds, who won two golds at each of the Beijing and London Paralympic Games is taking part in a swimming gala to mark the £16.5m transformation of the 1930s swimming baths.
It’s not the centre’s only Olympic connection; back in 1948, the Ironmonger Row Baths were used as a practice pool for divers ahead of the 1948 London Olympics; at 12ft-deep it was among the deepest pools in the capital at the time.
The Grade-II listed building now offers a pool with a moveable floor, to improve access for learners and disabled people, as well as modern, extended changing rooms, a new gym and a rather swish-looking sauna. The historic Turkish baths have also been restored. It’s a big change for a building that opened as a washhouse in 1931 for local people, 95% of whom didn’t have a bath in their houses.
Next week, the Baths will host various community groups, including local schools, ahead of its full reopening to Joe Public on Saturday 24 November. Look out for more community events, including free swimming and introductory offers for the spa during that first week.