Described by an international stakeholder as the “Rolls Royce among pools in the Caribbean,” the state of the art 25-metre warm up pool was commissioned on Friday with President Donald Ramotar expressing the wish that Guyana would be recognized at prestigious events such as the Olympic Games.
Friday’s commissioning of the US$288,600 warm up pool at Liliendaal has brought this country closer to becoming a world class sporting power a press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA), stated.
“The warm up pool is another necessary component in the efforts to have Guyana recognized as a world class sporting power,” the release stated.
The ruling People’ Progressive Party has, over the years, attempted to bring this country’s sporting infrastructure on par with or superior to other Caribbean countries.
To this extent the government has outdid itself by erecting not only the first stadium in this country’s history, the Providence National Stadium which hosted a number of matches for the 2007 Cricket World Cup competition (the first such competition staged in the Caribbean) but the government also added a National Racquet Centre on Woolford Avenue along with the country’s first Synthetic Track at Leonora which is due to be commissioned shortly. Additionally government has also invested heavily in community grounds, fields and facilities in an effort to encourage the talented sportsmen and women to realise their full potential.
“Hopefully, our coaches, our officials can be able to spot them to develop them and develop their talents right here,” President Ramotar said at Friday’s commissioning.
President Ramotar pointed out that there were health, economic benefits and more to be derived from the use of the facility.
“When you satisfy a men’s stomach, then it is important that we satisfy his spirit, his culture, his sports,….which as our country develops becomes as important as satisfying the material needs of our people,” President Ramotar was quoted as saying in the release.
Although he noted that sports was “big business” President Ramotar said that the main reason for participation in sports activities was to seek glory for one’s self, community and country although not necessarily in that order.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony said the realization of the facility was “a dream that was fulfilled.”
According to Dr. Anthony, a new organizational structure will be installed shortly to manage the facility.
He also pledged to have more organisations have use of the pool adding that letters had already been sent out to not only secondary schools, but tertiary institutions such as the University of Guyana and the Cyril Potter College of Education for the conduct of physical training and swimming classes, the release stated. The facility is not yet open to the general public as it is being used by the Joint Services for various types of training, the release stated adding that the ministry has a staff of coaches while life guards are also on duty.
Director of Sports Neil Kumar said the facility was “a manifestation of what this caring and responsible government is capable of doing,” while president of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association Ivan Persaud said that the facility was an upgrade for local swimmers who previously were unable to have world class facilities for training prior to competing internationally.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport Alfred King gave a brief outline of the construction of the facility adding that the pool has a 10 year warranty while president of the South American Swimming Federation Juan Carlos Ortheila and vice president of the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) Dale Neuburger made brief remarks.
According to the GINA release, Neuburger described the facility as a “pool of dreams, dreams of young athletes who will have a chance to learn to swim and to realise their potential as young athletes in both fitness and competition.”
The pre-fabricated 25x21m warm up pool was assembled by Myrtha Pool Company while preliminary work was done by D&S Construction Company and supervised by innovative Engineering Consultancy Services.
The facility has an automated filtration system that can be monitored via the internet, the release ended.