By Samuel Sanya
Components in the aquatic centre
- Olympic-size pool
- Wave pools
- Spa areas
Construction of Uganda’s first ever aquatic centre could start later this year if all goes to plan, William Blick, the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) president said prime city land has been allocated for the mega-project.
“I will not say exactly where the land is, and how much the project will cost for now but I can tell you that an area has been designated for the construction of an aquatic centre,” Blick told the visibly excited members of the Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) at the Sheraton Hotel on Saturday.
“The Russian Embassy in Kampala has long promised to fund the project, but there was no land. We now have the land. The land is within Kampala. (Ambrose) Tashobya is working on the details,” Blick stated.
Tashobya is the UOC vice-president.
“When complete, the aquatic centre will be the home of Uganda Swimming Federation. It will also be accessible to athletes from other sports federations,” Blick went on to say at the USF annual general meeting.
An internet search reveals that aquatic centres cost from a minimum $2.5m (sh6.25b).
Those, like the London aquatic centre go for as much as $450m (sh1.1 trillion).
An aquatic centre contains an Olympic size swimming pool, wave pools, gyms and spa areas. It can also have grounds for volleyball and basketball among others on several acres of land.
Donald Rukare, the USF president said that the aquatic centre will boost the federation’s long term ambitions to be bigger than rugby and football in Uganda.
Uganda Swimming Federation president Donald Rukare (L) adresses the assembly on Saturday. PHOTO/Michael Nsubuga
Blick pointed out that swimming is one of six federations that will have eight year strategic plans to map out the development of athletes in the sport. The plans will be drawn up with expertise from the German Olympic Committee.
“We chose six federations for the strategic planning exercise because they lacked these plans and secondly, because of low government funding, we cannot include all federations,” Blick noted.
Boxing and rowing are some of the six federations.
Presenting the USF’s financial report during the assembly, Fauzia Karmali noted that the federation made a surplus of sh3.476m during the year after expenses worth sh16m were paid.
She noted that the annual budget is set to grow this year with a series of international events.
Uganda will host the prestigious FINA swimming official’s school training at Kampala Parents School February 22-2.
The event will attract top officials from the global swimming body and from over 20 African swimming federations.
Later between April 24-27, Uganda will host the mega CANA Zone III & IV Swimming Championships, also at the Kampala Parents School pool.
The event will bring together swimmers from over 20 African countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Angola.
Moses Mwase, the USF general secretary pointed out that swimmers are training hard to ably represent the country at the continental meet.
The swimming calender promises lots of action with the second African Youth Championships due in Botswana in May, the 20th commonwealth Games in Scotland in July, and the second summer Youth Olympic Games due in China in August.