Participants at the swimming segment of the annual Ministry of Education (MOE)/Guyana’s Tea-cher’s Union (GTU) National Schools’ Championships just might be performing in the 50m Olympic-Sized Pool if all goes well.
According to Colin Bynoe, president of the GTU, it is “most naturally” expected that this year around the pool would be ready in time for the celebrated championships that is set to take place in November.
However, Bynoe stressed that he has not yet received any “formal” correspondence confirming that the pool would be used for the Championships.
The 50m pool, being constructed by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, has been under construction some three years now, and had been expected to have been utilized for the 2010 hosting of the championships.
However, those plans fell through when construction at the pool failed to be completed in time for the last November’s championships.
When questioned in August last, the Minister of Sports, Dr. Frank Anthony, was reluctant to give any confirmation as to whether or not the pool would be used for this year’s Schools’ championships, saying only that the pool would have been opened shortly.
“All systems are ready,” was Dr. Anthony’s words at the time.
Further questioned as to what then was holding up the pool’s opening, Dr. Anthony responded that it was only a matter of chosing an appropriate date to host an opening ceremony for the pool.
“We’ll be opening the Olympic-Sized pool [soon] because all of the systems are ready and we are just waiting for an official ceremony where we can open the pool, we will do that shortly and once we have that ceremony over basically the pool will be available,” the Minister had assured.
However, given the promises that shadowed last year’s championships, stakeholders are remaining skeptical, this time around.
Bynoe stated that as it concerns the possibility of the use of the pool, he would first have to receive correspondence from Nicholas Fraser, Head of the Physical Education Department within the MoE. Bynoe said he was expected to confer with Fraser yesterday.
However when Stabroek Sport spoke to Fraser on Friday last, he had stated that that while it is the hope of everyone involved that the pool would be ready in time to add to the grandeur of this year’s championships, measures will be put in place for a “Plan B”, as was the case last year.
Last year, organizers had set up a “Plan B” involving the hosting of the swimming aspect of the championships at the Castellani Swimming Pool on Homestretch Avenue. This eventually proved to be route used.
Last year, Dr. Anthony had promised that the pool would have been ready in time for the Schools’ championships after a guaranteed mid-September deadline had fallen through and the pool remained close.
Preparations for swimmers to perform at an opening ceremony were underway when, a few days prior to the championships commencing , the Ministry, in a press release, announced that the pool would not be used since some landscaping and other aesthetic works were still to be completed.
Since construction began in January 2008, the pool has missed deadline after deadline but some swimmers are still hopeful that the pool could be opened before this year’s championships.