By Carlena Knight
Cricket West Indies (CWI) have indicated that it is their intent to have a long-lasting relationship with the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) concerning the use of the pool at the Athletic Club in Coolidge.
CEO of CWI, Johnny Grave, while speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports Show, made the announcement that is not their intent that once the pool is repaired to take full and sole control and access to the facility.
“We hope to have a long and fruitful partnership. Two governing bodies of sports, swimming and cricket are coming together to work in partnership. It will be great for our cricketers to have access to that pool, but we would never have the need to have a swimming pool for exclusive access for our cricketers. We would never have the demand for that pool,” Grave revealed.
The top CWI official also gave an update on where they are with the needed repairs for the pool.
“We had a really good meeting with the swimming federation, possibly a week or so ago, and because of the pool and the size of the leak, it was quoted as $100,000 which is certainly not far away from the figures that are being communicated to me. So, it is significant work that needs to go there to pull it back into full operation with an abundance of caution, but also, you don’t want to be spending and investing that sort of money and then get further problems next month or down the line,” Grave said.
“They’ve been doing some work with the structural engineers to make sure that we really get to the heart of the problem and if we do this work, it’s going to be long-lasting and it’s not going to suddenly mean that we are going to have to close the pool again in a few months’ time because there is another problem. We are desperate to get the pool back in good working order and get the swimmers in Antigua back in the pool, as is obviously, the swimming federation. So, the dialogue continues, the work investigation continues. I am hoping we can be announcing, or the Antigua Barbuda Swimming Federation can be announcing that the work will start in short order, and we can be very clear to the swimmers in Antigua and Barbuda about when they can get back in the pool,” Grave added.
This is good news for swimmers here in Antigua and Barbuda who, since the closure of the Athletic Club, have been limited in finding venues to train.
Earlier this month, president of the local swimming body, Dr Derek Marshall, told this newsroom that the unavailability of the 25-meter pool has severely hampered the national programme.
Reports are that the swimming federation had intended to resume using the facility in May after the business announced in April that it would close its doors due to financial hardships brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But due to a leak, plans were changed.
A leak was reportedly discovered in the pool following a routine inspection after the swimming federation and the management at Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) had reached an agreement that would have allowed the federation to continue using the facility.
According to Marshall, the estimates are that the pool was losing close to a foot of water every couple of days.
Marshall said it would cost the federation upwards of $100,000 to repair the pool located at the Cricket West Indies-owned Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG).