Swimming Federation To Invest In Aquatic Centre

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The Antigua & Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) will be moving to identify lands for the erection of an aquatic centre here in Antigua.
This is according to one member of the federation’s executive, Edith Clashing, who said the practice of relying on government and their promise to construct an indoor pool for the country’s young swimmers is no longer a viable option.
“My recommendation has been to our federation that we need to take the bull by the horns now and start launching out and doing for ourselves. I think that most persons are in agreement with that so before the end of the term for this current executive, I think they would at least, establish a location we could earmark to move forward in terms of our own efforts to have the funds raised,” she said.
The federation, which utilises the pool located at the Antigua Athletic Club in Coolidge for local meets, had been promised over eight years ago, that the government would construct an Olympic size pool to host meets, and also to harness the country’s promising talents.
Help, according to Clashing, could also come from the sport’s governing body, FINA, the International Federation for Swimming.
“FINA is on the brink of trying to make good on some promises like being able to assist federations better, even at the administrative level, which has not happened before. But we also have to understand they are going into an election period at the upcoming FINA World Championships, which is one of the championships our swimmers will be heading to. So there may or may not be a change of the guards so we wait to see before we take anybody’s promises as gospel at this point,” the swimming administrator said.
One other objective, according to Clashing, will be growing the sport where participation is concerned.
 “The number of persons that are involved in our sport would need to get bigger, that’s one thing and that is in terms of participants because the more people you have it’s the more talent you have coming through so we need a bigger mass of persons being exposed to our sport and of course, with that would have to go the facilities to accommodate,” she said.
Swimming copped the top prizes for the Official of the Year and the Coach of the Year during last Sunday’s Vitamalt National Sports Awards held at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Clashing was named Official of the Year while Nelson Molina took the coach’s accolade.

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