GASA eyeing ‘Guyana Open’ regional swim meet next year

- but new pool is without warm-up/warm-down facility

The Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) is considering the prospect of hosting a ‘Guyana Open’ regional swim meet next year, when  the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS) $455 million Olympic-size swimming pool is completed.

According to GASA President Philip Walcott, the body’s  technical committee in charge of coordinating the list of events for 2011 is hopeful about hosting the event come July next year, but he observed that this is completely dependant on the completion and availability of the 50m pool.

Moreover,  Walcott said, the lack of a warm-up/warm- down pool at the facility will also play its part in whether the meet will actually come off or not.

“Permitting that the pool is completed, the real challenge will be that there is no warm-down pool at the facility, you can’t have an effective international meet unless you have a warm-up/warm-down pool. So if we’re really going to have an international meet that will have to be addressed – that is for the new executive to address,” said Walcott, whose tenure as president will come to a close on December 31.
Walcott noted that with his term coming to an end, this issue of finalizing plans for the meet will have to be dealt with by the incoming executive, which will be headed by Alex Graham.

Budget for ‘Guyana Open’
Head of the technical committee, Colin Beaton also confirmed that the association is hopeful of hosting the meet next year. Beaton related that the meet is being budgeted for in the association’s plans for 2011 and will be listed on their calendar of events.

Philip Walcott

For the event, Beaton said, GASA is looking to invite swimmers from within the Caribbean. But Beaton as well also observed that the meet is dependent  on the availability of the 50m pool.

“Normally what we do is we prepare a calendar of events for the coming year, and we budget for these events. So yes, it [the Guyana Open] has been planned for the coming year, but in our plan we expect that we will have a 50m pool, so as to invite our Caribbean brothers and sisters. Those are our expectations down the line,” Beaton said.

“But the plan is such that it has to do with when the pool is available, if the pool doesn’t open next year it would not come off. We have to use what is on the ground, if we don’t have those facilities we can’t host these activities.”

Beaton also confirmed that the lack of a warm-up pool may play a part in hindering the effective implementation of the meet. However on that note  Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony speaking to Stabroek Sport earlier this week had stated that alternative measures are in place to deal with this issue.

Dr Anthony related that this included the use of temporarily erected facilities, as well as the long- term vision of having a permanent warm-up pool installed at the pool.

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