NSC Trustees ‘screwed up’ Froud
By Stephen WrightFormer president of Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) Tab Froud has accused the National Sports Centre (NSC) Trustees of “screwing up” when designing the new Aquatics Centre.
Froud, who negotiated with the Trustees for the pool, believes they blew a “one-time chance” to build a facility to not only cater for the general public and swimming community, but host international events as well.
In a letter sent to
The Royal Gazette and PLP Senator Diallo Rabain who defended the design of the pool in the media last week Froud heavily criticised the Trustees decision-making throughout the multi-million dollar project.
He said the Trustees snubbed BASA’s initial recommendation for a stainless steel pool with a 30-year warranty, made by an overseas company called Myrtha, which would have been a far cheaper option.
This design was also favoured by Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) and approved by FINA, the international governing body for swimming.
Furthermore, Froud revealed that after several meetings between both parties, the Trustees then reneged on an agreed design for a ten-lane 50 metres pool without a dive platform, opting for an eight-lane facility with a diving well instead.
“We had a one-time chance to build the right pool which would have allowed for many options and Sports Tourism,” said Froud.
“The NSC Trustees screwed it up. In the many meetings it was stated by BASA that we would fundraise if needed for the right pool, again dismissed. We would have fundraised for the extra two lanes.
“The Trustees have no idea what it takes to run a pool so they now have employed someone to manage this another salary added. Had the right pool been built this would have been an easy solution. It is now it is becoming a nightmare to embrace (for) the swimming community, the other sports and the general community.
“This was not and never was a political issue, it was a simple matter of designing what was wanted by the swimming community and what Bermuda could be as a world class Aquatics Centre and I might add for a far cheaper and better facility that what Bermuda has ended up with.”
Froud added that although the 50 metres pool at the NSC, which officially opened last week, was FINA approved it could not host international events such as the Carifta Games and World Masters Championships.
“Yes this pool will be FINA legal as a 50 metres pool. While FINA legal for a 50 metres pool, this pool will not allow for such games as Carifta, Worlds Masters meets etc, as the new norm is for a ten-lane 50 metres pool with separate warm up pool,” Froud said.
“We are made to understand this one pool project has cost in the region of $22 million. This is with portable toilets? The Myrtha option was for three pools 10x50 metres and 6x25 metres with bump out for learn to swim and diving well in the warm-up pool, and purpose built bathrooms for $15.8 million.”
Contacted yesterday, Senator Rabain said he stuck by his comments.