Jun 9 2011 by Shirley Bartynek, Hamilton Advertiser
IN just two months it will be one of the main venues for the 2011 International Children’s Games – but this week people have been warned to stay out of Strathclyde Loch.
The sailing competition will be held at the Watersports Centre in August when Lanarkshire welcomes almost 2000 athletes aged 12 to 15 years for the Olympic-recognised event.
However, North Lanarkshire Council this week temporarily cancelled some water sports and activities after blue-green algae was discovered.
A council spokesperson said: “Blue-green algae was found in Strathclyde Loch on Thursday, May 26, and as a result all sports that involve immersion in the water have been suspended until further notice.
“Test samples are being sent to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency every two weeks to monitor the condition of the water, and full sports services at the loch will be restored to normal as soon as we have been notified that it is safe to do so.
“Sailing and boating activities are still available.”
Warning signs have been posted around the loch, and pet owners are advised to keep their pets out of the water.
Sports affected at the moment are jet ski-ing, water ski-ing, windsurfing and open water swimming.
In August last year the Great Scottish Swim, due to be held at Strathclyde Loch, was cancelled due to a high level of blue-green algae found in the man-made lake.
Strathclyde Park is preparing for an influx of high-class athletes over the next few months, as it hosts an assortment of unique and elite sporting events. Rowing and sailing events will not be affected by the discovery of the algae.
The Scottish Amateur Rowing Championships take place this weekend on June 11/12 on the loch, an official rowing training facility for the London 2012 Olympics. These are closely followed by the Home International Regatta on July 23.
Between August 4 and 8, Lanarkshire will host the International Children’s Games. Strathclyde Park will host the sailing events.
September kicks off with the Scottish Standard Triathlon Championships on September 4.