President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey has said that the Grenada Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) should make use of an idle plot of land in Seamoon to put down the planned state-of-the-art swimming pool and not the National Cricket Stadium at Queen’s Park.
Speaking on a local radio station, Sen. Humphrey said that there are too many distractions at the stadium to facilitate the Swimming pool.
He cited the moving of Gravel and Concrete trucks which result in dust flying through the wind, and electrical fumes from GRENLEC’s Power Plant as issues that will affect the facility.
“With the wind blowing in, do you think it’s the most appropriate place, with these trucks moving tons of aggregates, most of the time its’ exposed, to situate the swimming pool there?
“Point number two, it’s my concern that we have this tendency to be St. George’s eccentric, meaning everything must be located here.
According to Sen. Humphrey, if the swimming pool is placed in St. Andrew, it can contribute to the overall development of the country.
He said: “There is a beautiful lot of land in Seamon with a lot of grounds that can be used. It is also good for the overall sociology and allround development of our country. Could that facility be placed in a place like that so they give St. Andrew the possibility, not only in respect of the fact that the place is available but also the spread the culture of swimming?
“…I know about (the) history of the introduction of competitive swimming in Grenada because I can tell you, it was a small band of former revolutionaries after the collapse of the revolution who got this whole thing going….
“…I am proud to know that we actually were the ones who introduced competitive swimming in Grenada in a pool which was then on the ground where General Hudson Austin used to live…but the question is the current location, given the impeding matters that I just identified – the constant moving of heavy trucks with aggregates, the electricity fumes with a pool that you’re going to have there and everything is just so congested in one area.
However, President of GASA, Peron Johnson has responded to the suggestion made by Sen. Humphrey by insisting that the current location at the National Cricket Stadium is the best option at this point in time.
Johnson said the ideal thing is for the country to have more than one swimming pool – one in the south and another in the north of the island.
“So, we will start somewhere and yes, we would say that the suggested location (Queen’s Park) is the best as it is right now…”, she remarked.
“…We have also engaged our major stakeholder, that’s government. We did raise some concern in terms of some of the issues that were highlighted by Sen. Humphrey and we were assured that some of the environmental challenges are something that will (not) be unduly burdensome for swimming to be held there…”, she said.
GASA Member, Gail Purcell indicated that the swimming pool facility that will be placed at the cricket stadium will not only benefit swimmers but also athletes in general.
“The availability of lands over the years has been an ongoing discussion for the (swimming) organisation. This is what has been made available to us at this time and obviously we’re taking on the technical advice that’s required to make the best decision in terms of design and development of a facility that would take those things into consideration considering the environment we’re going to be operating in. On the benefit side of it, it being central and close to the major sporting facility that we have, it’s easier access.
“…You know you have athletics there and you want to build a sporting complex and one of the things that we feel with the development of any sport or any athlete that the interchange of different discipline helps develop in whatever your specialty is. Athletics, volleyball, all of these things can make use of a swimming facility for their own athletic development.
“So, we see this as a marriage, not as a swimming (association) coming on-board and getting a proper facility and operating just for swimmers. It is a facility that’s going to be accessible to athletes, and … the swimmers – obviously that will help propel them further.
GASA officials have often complained that the small 4 lane 25-yard pool at Good Hope has proven to be inadequate over the years and stressed the need for construction of an Olympic style lane with 10 lanes.
The association is currently engaged in talks with government on funding for the state of the art swimming pool.