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Sod turning ceremony signals start of National Aquatic Centre

By Terry Finisterre, Sports Correspondent

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Emma Hippolyte and Shawn Edward were handling heavy machinery on Monday evening, as the sod was turned for the island’s National Aquatic Centre.

The ceremony was attended by former Gros Islet Members of Parliament, Julian Hunte and Mario Michel, and members of the swimming fraternity, including the executive of the Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association.

Speaking were a representative of the contractors, MArrow International, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) James Chang, Minister of Sport Edward and Member of Parliament for Gros Islet Hippolyte.

The feature remarks were delivered Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony, who called on the Minister of Sports to speak to plans for the development of swimming in his (the Prime Minister’s) constituency, Vieux Fort. He also called on the Ministries of Education and Sport as well as the Swimming Association to ensure there are enough programmes to ensure the facility is well used.

“This afternoon’s ceremony clearly brings joy to so many people,” said Dr Anthony. “Great joy to swimmers, amateur and professional; great joy to their community of supporters; the parents; the coaches; all of those who want to see Saint Lucia become a mecca for swimming in the Caribbean and the region.”

Recognising the efforts of Saint Lucian swimmers and administrators, Dr Anthony praised the Worrell family for starting the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre, a privately-owned facility, and went on to express the hope that the new National Aquatic Centre and Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre could co-exist and contribute to the continued growth and development of the sport.

The PM spoke to the fact that when the National Aquatic Centre is completed, it will complete a quartet of national facilities within less than a kilometre of each other – the Beausejour Stadium, Beausejour Gynmasium and National Tennis Centre being the other three.

The National Aquatic Centre will include a 50-metre pool, built to international standards and capable of hosting regional and international meets, as well as a 500-seat pavilion. Work on the centre is underway. The facility is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.

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11 comments

  1. There is a need to understand the logistics in placing the aquatic centre in an area that has been developed for sports. That's why three other sporting facilities are located there. Please stop the unnecessary debate on north/south on this particular issue. That argument may hold weight sometimes for other issues.

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  2. The Commentator

    BEAUSEJOUR IS THE CAPITAL OF GROS ISLET.

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  3. Two in the North, non in the South. Hahaha. We in the south cannot afford to travel to the north to these places cause we have not jobs in the south like in the north.

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  4. Kenny should be a better thinker than that in the north already have one why not give the south one also why

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  5. where did this construction firm appear from? I can't find anything on them.

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  6. Wht facilities are we providing for the south of the island? And when i say south i mean everywhere outside of castries. We hve a stadium tht cant be used...give us a chance....these ministers are neglecting the south of the island like its detatched

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  7. So we frm the south still hve to go up to castries to use a swimming pool? Tht center needs to be in the south....find space....yall could find space for a cemetery but something to help our children in vieux fort yall refuse to give it to us!

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  8. Castries as usual. The south has been asking for that same facility for a long time now but to no avail.

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    • Beausejour is in Gros Islet.

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    • Terry Finisterre

      The Prime Minister "...called on the Minister of Sports to speak to plans for the development of swimming in his (the Prime Minister’s) constituency, Vieux Fort." In any case, this is a NATIONAL facility. Just as I travel to VF just about every weekend for track and field, and national footballers will hopefully one day all travel to Dennery to train, swimmers will make arrangements to get to the NAC.

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