Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 2
After a wait of almost 10 months, local professional swimmers finally started practising at the Sector 23 all-weather pool here today. The pool opened on December 28 and swimmers started coming from yesterday.
“It’s appreciable that the UT Administration has opened swimming pool for swimmers. As many 15 swimmers have verified their admissions forms. On the first day around 11 swimmers came for practice,” said Sharinpreet Singh, swimming coach.
“As per guidelines, swimmers below 12 years are not allowed to practice as of now. Only five swimmers are allowed to practice at one time for one-hour. We are expecting good number of swimmers if all goes well in the coming months,” he added.
As per the annual roster, the winter of this swimming pool gets over in mid March before entering a 15-day break period.
“We still have around three months for practising. All that we need is regular access to pool for honing our skills. It was tough on the first day in water after a gap of almost 10 months. Hopefully, everything will get normal within a week,” said Ankiet, a swimmer.
Earlier in October, the MHA had given a go ahead to opening of swimming pools for pro-swimmers. Thereafter, the UT Sports Department was planning for the same. Only this pool was expected to open for trainees as it has the facility to maintain the water temperature. The facility was shut since the implementation of the lockdown. The department took almost two weeks to carry out the repairs, cleaning and maintenance work.
Meanwhile, sources maintained that the facility is not likely to open for the general public and members in this winter session. “The facility will accommodate general public in summer session, which usually starts from April. It depends on the situation and approval from the higher authorities. All seven swimming pools under the UT Sports Department witness huge rush in summers,” said an official.
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