Bermuda National Sports Centre opens island’s first 50-metre swimming pool

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

The Board of Trustees of the Bermuda National Sports Centre today announces the opening of the island’s first 50-metre swimming pool. The pool is part of the new $23.4 million National Aquatics Centre located in the heart of Bermuda National Sports Centre on Frog Lane in Devonshire.

Sean Tucker, Chairman, and Bernie Asbell, Chief Executive Officer, Bermuda National Sports Centre pictured in front of Bermuda’s first 50-metre swimming pool.

Sean Tucker, Chairman, Bermuda National Sports Centre, says: “For Bermuda, with a population of just over 64,000, to have a 50-metre pool puts us in a very strong position by international standards. Our research has determined that a 50-metre pool is available for approximately every 590,000 people in Canada, every 700,000 people in U.S.A. and every 1.2 million people in the U.K. From this perspective, it is phenomenal that we have been successful in opening such a facility in Bermuda.

“The new National Aquatics Centre will cater to everyone in Bermuda and is available for use by master swimmers, those wanting to enjoy a fun-filled day at the pool, seniors, school students and everyone in between. This world-class facility provides the perfect opportunity for the community to get active as swimming is a great workout for your entire body and, because it is low-impact, it is a good form of exercise for all levels of fitness and ages.”

The fresh water pool, maintained at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, is fitted with a moveable bulkhead to allow either 8 lanes of 50 metres or 16 lanes of 25 metres. The bulkhead will be adjusted to accommodate 50 metres at specific times throughout the week. These additional lanes triple the island’s existing public swimming capacity. A diving well is combined within the pool beneath a diving tower with boards at 3, 5, 7.5 and 10 metres.

Facilities at the National Aquatics Centre include showers and changing rooms, a sunbathing area, classroom and birthday party area, as well as a food concession. A giant floating slide and two fun obstacle courses are also available to book for parties, schools, as well as during scheduled public sessions.

The National Aquatics Centre was designed with consideration given to both leisure and competitive usage following consultation with stakeholders groups, including Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association (BASA). The final design was based on a combination of features from a ‘wish list’ from elite swimmers and the community, which could be facilitated within the available budget.

The National Sports Centre will be the primary multisport host venue for the NatWest Island Games taking place from July 13 to 19, with the National Aquatic Centre as the host venue for all aquatic activities. This will follow the National Swim Championships on June 6-9 that will serve as a test for the international event. The swimming pool was built to meet the standards of FINA, the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronised swimming and open water swimming, and is currently awaiting official certification.

The National Aquatics Centre will also host numerous day camps this summer for local children, as well as public swimming lessons split by age group.

Bernie Asbell, Chief Executive Officer, Bermuda National Sports Centre, says: “It is our goal to use the new facility to encourage the growth of competitive swimming and BASA affiliated clubs, and to spearhead interest in water polo, synchronised swimming and diving in Bermuda as currently there are no clubs in existence on island for these pursuits. If that can be achieved, then we succeed in building Bermuda’s attractiveness to competitors in these sports as a place to train and compete.”

The National Aquatics Centre will be open to the public from 7am until 7pm Monday to Saturday and 7am until 5pm on Sundays during the summer months. Winter opening hours will be subject to demand.

Entry fees are: $15 for adults; $12 for youth (age 13 to 18) and seniors (age 65 and over); and $8 for children (age 6 to 13). A family ticket is available for $32 for 2 adults and up to 4 children, all of whom reside at the same address. Money-saving multipack swim packages of 10 tickets are also available, as well as monthly passes. There will be higher entry fees for public sessions when the floatables are in use.

The new National Aquatics Centre has created 10 jobs for Bermudians, including 8 lifeguards who were trained by a trainer brought to the island from Cayman. Four more jobs will be added this summer.

The completion of the 50-metre swimming pool represents the end of the first phase of the National Aquatics Centre project. As part of this initial phase, the plumbing and infrastructure for a further 25-metre, 6-lane warm-up and teaching pool has been put in place to allow for this facility to be constructed at a later date, subject to funding being secured. The completion of a warm-up pool would allow Bermuda to host the CARIFTA swim meet. Currently there are only four aquatic facilities in the CARIFTA region that meet the requirements to do so.

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