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Open National Stadium pool, swimmers beg Sports Minister

Minister of Sports and Youth Development Sunday Dare

By Ben Efe

Swimmers who are preparing for the National Sports Festival have urged the Sports Ministry to keep the swimming pool at the National Stadium Lagos Swimming open.

Yesterday a group of swimmers from Lagos and Ogun States who wanted to use the National Stadium Swimming pool for time trials were turned back by the stadium management.

It was gathered that the Sports Ministry bent on privatising the entire sports complex without regard to previous engagements, has restricted the usage of the facility.

Speaking on the development Nigeria Swimming and Aquatic Federation president, Babatunde Fatayi-Williams said it would be a disaster, if the stadium swimming pool is allowed to slip back into disrepair.

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“The pool was renovated and reconstructed in 2017 by the Ojez company. It was not in use since 1999 before the reconstruction, it was a thing of joy for us to see it back again like it was in 1970.

“All the facilities are in good condition… the seats, the change rooms clean, toilets, two bole holes for steady supply of water. The pool has been open for training and competitions by schools, States. We had national and international competitions there.

“The Facility should be kept open. These are facilities meant to be used by the athletes for competition and training; it is not going to help swimming if it is closed,” Mr. Fatayi-Williams counselled.

He said many swimmers have now resorted to training in rivers which is not safe: “The pool is even the safest place for sport during this era of corona virus. Because of the chlorine used in treating the water, the dosage used is the standard recommended by the World Health Organisation and the FINA, the world swimming governing body.”

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