By Eddie Akalonu
State and local governments across the country have been advised to do away with the idea of building swimming pools with a diving section because it does not serve any useful purpose for now.
President of the Nigeria Swimming Federation, NSF, Mr. Babatunde Fatayi-Williams who gave the advice also urged the various governments to consult with the federation for proper briefing and advice anytime they plan to construct a new pool.
Fatayi-WilliamsÂ told Sunday Vanguard sports in Ibadan on the occasion of the 2010 First Swimming Classics, sponsored by the Authentic Friends of Swimming which held March 24 and 25 at the University of Ibadan pool that â€œbuilding diving pools in the country was a waste of resources because the federation has no programme for divingâ€.
â€œIf you go around the country there are so many diving pools built but such are aÂ waste because they have never been put to any use because the Swimming Federation has never had diving on itâ€™s programme of activities and currently has no plan to introduce it.
Asked why, the swimming bossÂ replied, â€œWe have no programme for diving because itâ€™s very technical, we do not have a coach in this discipline, diving sport is very dangerous and one could lose his or her life in the process. Itâ€™s is sad to see so many of these pools already on ground but they are lying wasteful.
They are not ideal for our situation because diving pools are very costly to maintain because you are dealing with deep water here, not six feet or eight feet deep. We have them all over the country but they are of no use as the federation does not run diving programmes. So, Iâ€™m advising States to do away with the practice and channel funds elsewhere in sports,â€ he explained.
Meanwhile Authorities of the University of Ibadan have been commended for ensuring proper maintenance of itâ€™s swimming pool and making it available. Mr. Fatayi-Williams, a Chieftain of Authentic Friends of Swimming federation, operators of the Nigerian Swimming Federation, who gave kudos to the institution for the wonderful condition of the pool, said it not only serves as training venue for swimmers but also for competition for programmed athletes.
Meanwhile at the Ibadan meet, Edo Stateâ€™s Rachael Tonjor earned 11points to lead in the womenâ€™s category while Deltaâ€™s Edenotu Yinlayefa and Faith Edorodion of Edo State, who both finished on 9 points each tied in second place.