Groups lining up to use new pool
The National Aquatics Centre’s long-awaited new 50-metre swimming pool is now open for business — and the response from groups seeking to use it has been “fantastic” according to Government.
The new facility, which opened on Monday, provides a venue for community use as well as numerous competitive water sports.
The pool, located within the $23.4 million National Aquatics Centre at the National Sports Centre in Frog Lane, Devonshire, has already led to a glut of calls from interested parties, Community and Cultural Development Minister Wayne Scott said last night.
“There has been tremendous interest from the aquatics community from groups looking for a home venue for their programmes,” Mr Scott told
The Royal Gazette.
“The NSC Aquatics Centre is able to accommodate everything from masters’ swimming to seniors’ therapeutic programmes, to junior programmes, to learn-to-swim programmes, to school programmes, to diving, to synchronised swimming to water polo. All of this, and more, can be accommodated there. The reaction so far has been simply fantastic.”
Starting this week, the pool was open for the Island’s children to get lessons — or just enjoy the water. It may also spark an expansion of the Island’s aquatic sports scene.
Bermuda doesn’t currently have any clubs devoted to sports like water polo, synchronised swimming and diving, National Sports Centre CEO Bernie Asbell explained.
“If that can be achieved, then we succeed in building Bermuda’s attractiveness to competitors in these sports, as a place to train and compete,” he said.
The pool’s completion marks the end of phase one of the National Aquatics Centre project.
The facility is not yet Carifta compatible — but the basic infrastructure has been laid down to add the warm-up pool necessary for hosting the international games.
As for when the warm-up pool might be built, Mr Scott said: “Ultimately it’s up to when we get the funding. I have charged the Board of Trustees with the responsibility of finding ways to continue to develop the Centre.”
The project to build the pool drew criticism from members of the governing One Bermuda Alliance when the party was in opposition.
Mr Scott declined to comment on the politics surrounding the project. “It is an asset that the people of Bermuda own,” he said.
“I’m not in a position to redo anything that was previously done, regardless of whether or not it was the best decision. I am now responsible for this asset and I will do my utmost to ensure that it is successful.”
The pool will get some early high-profile action when it hosts the National Swimming Championships, which will run from Thursday to Sunday of next week and it will also be a venue for the Island Games in July.
Mr Scott said an official grand opening is scheduled for the pool for June 13.
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