The National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, has this week reached a milestone in its history – welcoming its 200,000th visitor since reopening in 2015.
Phil Ratcliffe, who works in Pontypridd, had the surprise of his life when it was announced that he was the person to reach the attendance milestone.
The office worker visits the National Lido of Wales every lunchtime, swimming for a set time each day, five days a week. .
Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure and Heritage Services, said: “I am delighted that the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, is proving to be as popular today as it was when it re-opened in 2015.
“Lido Ponty is a visitor attraction that Rhondda Cynon Taf is proud of and one which celebrates the past while also embracing the modern 21st Century.
“As well as our tourists and visitors, we also have our regular swimmers at Lido Ponty, and it is fantastic that Phil Ratcliffe helped us reach the total of 200,000 visitors since we re-opened in 2015.”
Mr Ratcliffe, was presented with a Lido Ponty goodie bag and was also interviewed by the awaiting television cameras. He said he was very surprised, but vowed to be back in the pool the following day!
Mr Ratcliffe, who is married with two grown-up children, said: “This is all very exciting and totally unexpected. I feel so proud to be the 200,000th visitor.
“Even when the weather is cold, the water is warm and the showers are hot. This is such a great facility for the people of Rhondda Cynon Taf and Wales.
“I love coming to Lido Ponty, and have been doing so since it re-opened in the summer of 2015 – there is no place quite like it in Wales.
“We are so fortunate to have the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, right here on our doorstep in Rhondda Cynon Taf, and just a short walk from my office in Pontypridd and the town centre.
“I have been surprised with all the fuss, as all I was doing was coming along for my daily swim, not expecting to be the 200,000th visitor.
“I absolutely love swimming, and find it is great exercise, especially in the outdoors. There is nowhere nicer than swimming at Lido Ponty, especially when the sun is shining -– although I do swim in all weathers.
“I have a rheumatoid condition and I find that swimming daily helps me to deal with it. Lido Ponty is a fantastic facility, and I will be back in the water again tomorrow.”
The National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, is open seven days a week until September 3, followed by selected extra weekends in September.
Swim sessions can be booked online up to seven days in advance. Limited tickets are also released at 9am each day at the Lido Ponty Reception Desk, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note: Bookings cannot be made over the telephone