Closed for some two months now due to a “burnt out pump” the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports operated Colgrain Swimming Pool has officially re-opened.
Reports are that repairs at for the pool was officially completed earlier last week, while the first set of swimmers were allowed to begin utilizing the Pool as of Friday afternoon.
Speaking with Stabroek Sport yesterday, President of the Dorado Speed Swim Club and Vice-President of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA), Karen Pilgrim, said that it was confirmed to her on Friday last that the Pool had been re-opened.
Pilgrim conveyed the news that her club was expected to begin using the pool as of yesterday. Dorado is one of the four principal clubs in Guyana that utilize the services of the pool with the other three being the Silver Shark, Orca and Dolphins Swim Speed Clubs.
As it pertains to losses suffered, Pilgrim related that the clubs may not be able to calculate this with a surety until after they have resumed regular operations.
Nonetheless, she said she was certain that great losses have been borne by the clubs in terms of swimmers who would have had their development severely hindered, and others who may have been discouraged to the point of finding other avenues for their extra-curricular activities.
“I don’t even know where to begin [to count the losses]. I would say it was very difficult for the clubs because they were only just starting to get themselves together. We have no way of fully knowing what our losses are until the clubs start operating again, but we would have lost some of the swimmers. When the pool re-opened, a lot of the clubs had youngsters who had begun to come in. With the pool being closed during the holiday it affected us even more because it is then that persons are most available and would look forward to taking up swimming,” she noted.
Pilgrim added that the closure of the facility would have also put a strain on the clubs financial state, seeing that several parents would have paid for their children to join the clubs and several more would have pulled out with the pool being unavailable.
“From a financial point of view it [the closure of the pool] was just as bad. It would have had parents who would have, in all fairness, wanted their money back, this didn’t occur for my club but I’d say the other clubs may have experienced this.”
Sean Baksh, coach for the Orca and Silver Shark swim clubs, said his club experienced a poor turn out when his clubs resumed sessions on Saturday last. Also he noted the added detriment of the pool being closed during the schools’ August vacation.
Baksh said that persons would have looked forward to utilising the vacation period to take up the sport, but may have found other things to do with the closure of the pool.
“The turnout was poor at least for us. A lot of people would have moved on to other things, but we hope that things will pick up. A lot of people would have wanted to come out during the August holidays, but they would have found other things to do, people will come back but it’s just a matter of time,” Baksh explained.
This is the second time around that the pool has been unavailable during the August holidays when school children are most available to develop their niche in the sport.
The situation prevailed last year when just before the August vacation the pool was declared closed after a damaged filter tank was discovered in late June.
It took the Ministry nine months to fix the pool before it was finally re-opened in April of this year. Three months later the pool was again declared closed due to the burnt out pump.
In addition to the installation of the new filter ta
k repairs at the Pool are said to have included the installation of a new pump and other renovating works around the facility at a cost of around six million dollars.
At the April opening of the pool, according to reports, a possible break down of the pool’s pump was predicted by representative of General Equipment and Installation Services when it was noted that the pump’s electrical system required a 60 cycle supply of electricity against the 50 cycle being supplied by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) company.
It was noted that the system would be at risk of suffering a failure particularly if the system was operated for an entire day.