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Refurbished Shrewsbury Aquatic Centre reopens

Refurbished Shrewsbury Aquatic Centre reopens

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The Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Amateur Swimming Association (SVGASA) opened its newly expanded Shrewsbury Aquatic Centre (SAC) on Saturday, September 5. The 25-metre pool now boasts a total of six lanes.

The ceremony was held on the final day of the SAC LIME Invitational meet,{{more}} which was the last qualifier for swimmers striving to represent St Vincent andthe Grenadines (SVG) at the upcoming OECS competition, to be held in Antigua and Barbuda in November.

The invitational involved four days of competition among swimmers from Barbados, Grenada and SVG aged 5-17 years.

The Swimming Association celebrates the fact that they have a six-lane 25-metre pool.

The president of SVGASA, Stephen Joachim, expressed satisfaction with the facility.

“I believe we have the best location of any pool I’ve seen anywhere in the world,” he said, adding that he hoped the Government would appreciate the fantastic work which the Association has done and the tremendous impact that swimming is beginning to have in the country.

He said their next goal is the construction of a ‘learn-to-swim pool’ on these grounds behind the spectator stands. He felt that ‘learn-to-swim’ pools can also be placed in schools for less than US$5,000 each.

Joachim said in a nation surrounded by water he thinks “it is important that every child be taught to swim”.

Executives of the Swimming Association, who approached the Government to use the pool at Shrewsbury House raised in excess of $18,000 to get the pool operational.

Joachim expressed thanks to the Government and its agencies, which included National Properties Limited, the National Sports Council, the National Lotteries Authority, BRAGSA and the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA), along with commercial partners LIME, Coreas, Scotia Bank, CGM Gallagher and the Insurance Brokers.

He also thanked Minister of Sports, Cecil Mckie who was present at the ceremony, the Prime Minister, who also had a part in the development of the facility and the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee for being “amazingly supportive.”

Joachim mentioned that without electricity they would have no sport and urged VINLEC to get on board.

He explained that the swimming programme has so far impacted the communities of Owia, Sion Hill, Rose Place, Calliaqua, Bequia and Layou.

Athletes train up to seven times a week, putting in a minimum of 12-15 hours of work towards their goal of placing SVG on the swimming map.

Government Senator Camillo Gonsalves who made remarks at the opening on behalf of the Prime Minister, said that “Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is well on the way to making a name for itself in this sport and this facility will be [at]the epicentre of that work we plan to do.”

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