World Class Aquatic Center Nears Completion

Photo Of A Billion Dollar Aquatic Center In Trinidad And Tobago

The Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago may be small in size, but nonetheless has big plans for the future of aquatic sports and recreation for its 1.3 million citizens. That national ambition is currently about to come to fruition in the form of a $1.4 billion aquatic center in the city of Cuova, scheduled for completion in May.

The project was the brainchild of Anil Roberts, the country’s minister of sports. The facility, named after Olympic swimmer George Bovell III, will be open to one and all with a variety of aquatic features, including multiple competition pools and a host of interactive waterpark-like features. The project’s mission is to both increase swimming participation and safety awareness among the general population, while at the same time offering elite athletes and Olympic hopefuls a state-of-the-art training facility and boosting sports tourism.

According to Bovell, "There are many big countries with big budgets looking to come to this part of the world to prepare for big games. Here in T&T we have all the natural assets to make us attractive. We have lovely beaches, we have lovely weather and what was missing was a world class swimming facility. Now we have that on track and we are going to put all the elements together to make it work.

"We have the 2016 Olympics in Brazil coming up and it would be great for athletes to come to T&T and quietly prepare for those games," Bovell added.

The facility will be FINA-certified and will include a full-size warm-up pool, a main competition pool, a diving pool, lazy river and a wave pool. There will also be a dry-diving facility for use by children, who will be able to perfect the art of diving in foam before they take to the water.

Roberts said the government has also designed the center to facilitate mandatory swimming programs, which will be included in nation’s school curriculum by 2017 as part of the government’s efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle. The long-term goal is for all citizens to know how to swim and be water competent, "since we live in a twin island surrounded by water."

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