THE AQUATIC CENTRE

 

 

                                  BARBADOS

 

 

 

 

 

 

A PRIVATE  & PUCLIC SECTOR INITIATIVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WELCOME TO THE AQUATIC CENTRE, BARBADOS

              

 

 

 


HOME OF THE SPORT OF SWIMMING

      

water polo & synchronised swimming

 

                                                   GREETINGS

       FROM THE BARBADOS AMATEUR SWIMMING ASSOCIATION

The 50 M pool at the Aquatic Centre, Barbados has been host to several visiting teams from the USA and Canada during the 19 years of its existence. Located approximately 15 minutes drive from the chain of hotels which dot the south coast of the Island in the Parish of Christ Church, the Aquatic Centre is easily accessible. Boasting clean and comfortable surroundings, friendly and accommodating staff we welcome teams from other Countries to train in our 50 metre pool. Being a tourist Island our services infrastructure has been designed to accommodate visitors. Many restaurants of all hues and flavours exist to satisfy any appetite and are all within easy walking distance of the hotels. Transportation services are just a phone call away. The Grantley Adams International Airport,  approximately 20 minutes drive from the hotels on the south coast and the Aquatic Centre, has been expanded for a comfortable throughput of arrivals and departures.

 

Call us at the Aquatic Centre any day at 246-429-7946, fax 246-436-2272 or email basa@caribsurf.com to reserve pool space. A history of our pool follows should you want to know more about us. Join the many teams who train at the Centre. Following is a list of some of the teams recently training at our Centre.

 

GETTYSBURG COLLEGE under Coach Michael Rawleigh has been visiting every year since the Centre was opened. The Association recently presented the TEAM with a plaque commemorating over 16 years patronage. Our deepest appreciation and sincerest thanks.   We look forward to receiving the team many, many more years to come.

                        OUR SINCEREST THANKS AND APPRECIATION TO:

                  UMASS, DARTMOUTH            WAGNER SWIMMING

                  GOUCHER COLLEGE              THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

                  APPLEBY COLLEGE                LACROSSE UNIVERSITY

                  MCMASTER COLLEGE            ST CLOUD UNIVERSITY

                  LAVAL UNIVERSITY               BOB YORK SWIM CLUB

                  STEVENS POINT                     SYNCHRO CANADA

                  MCGILL UNIVERSITY             GRENFINS, GRENADA

                  FORDHAM UNIVERSITY     & many, many more teams who

                  COLOMBIA UNIVERSITY   have visited with us over the years

                  LEMOYNE UNIVERSITY

                  THE UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH

                  DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY

                  MCDANIEL COLLEGE

                  TEXAS A&M COLLEGE

                  HOLY CROSS COLLEGE

                  TUFT’S UNIVERSITY

                  WAGNER SWIMMING

        HISTORY OF THE AAQUATIC CENTRE, BARBADOS

 

Text Box:          1989 - 2006            Built by a team of enthusiastic Masters swimmers on land leased by the Government of Barbados and funded entirely by the private sector of Barbados the Aquatic Centre threw open its doors on September 29th 1989 and became a reality after many years of careful planning.  The 1986 dream of our visionaries of providing a facility in which  aquatic activity could develop and flourish after the pool at North Point Surf Resort in the northern end of the Island and many other private pools dotted around the Island proved inadequate to harness the fast growing momentum which the sport was gathering, and became a reality after they ‘put their money where their mouths were’ to coin a popular vernacular.

 

Built at a total cost of approximately Bds$1,500,000 by Construction Engineer Angus Edghill, who was also the leading masters swimmer in Barbados, rose to the challenge and offered to build the Centre at cost.  Mr Maurice Foster, after whom the learn to swim pool is named, agreed to take on the job of fund raising for the project. On Friday, January 29th 1988, the first bulldozer began work on the entry road to the site. Mrs Anne Shepherd joined the fundraising team and Mrs Katie Gale coordinated accounting activity. It seemed as though the project was truly “an idea whose time had come” as the response from the business community was tremendous. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (now First Caribbean International) offered assistance with a loan of Bds $300,000. Other fundraising initiatives included the sale of advertising signs which produced about Bds$450,000, raffles and swim-a-thons accounting for approximately Bds$100,000 and donations of material and labour came from a number of construction companies. Many companies, besides taking advertising space, also contributed cash and equipment.

 

Text Box: Two examples of the generosity of the business community are worth special mention. Workbench, a furniture company, was approached to provide a quotation for 10 tables and chairs and a board room table. This Company donated all of the furniture along with two couches and chairs to accompany the board room table.

Mr Kent Cole of Caribbean Painting Services supplied the carpeting for the entrance to the Centre and the steps leading up to the stands as well as the VIP section and the two short sides of the learn to swim pool, again free of cost. The Aquatic Centre was truly a demonstration of good will and confidence in the Association by the private sector.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Shortly after the Centre was opened, parents and other well wishers staged “SPLASH” a remarkable presentation around the pool combining water ballet dancing and other performance on a stage that had been erected on the western side of the pool. This effort raised approximately Bds$100,000. The Government‘s schools’ learn to swim programme generated additional income. The loan was repaid in full by the Barbados Olympic Association, thanks to their generosity.

 

The Barbados Amateur Swimming Association is therefore very proud of what it has been able to achieve since the opening of the Aquatic Centre in 1990 and wishes to thank all of its many volunteers, swimmers and sponsors without whose help none of this would have been possible.

 

Age Group Swimming:

In 1985, before the Centre was opened the Association had a registered number of approximately 100 age group swimmers. At the opening of the Centre with several of the age group swimmers present, Mr Maurice Foster, one of the main driving forces behind the building of the Centre, shared his vision on how the opening of the Centre would impact on the success of the sport: “When at some future Olympics”, he stated,  “we hear the starter say ‘swimmers take your marks’, and we see one of these young swimmers standing on the starting blocks, we will watch with excitement and pride, knowing we have played some part in making it happen.”  In 1966 at the Atlanta Olympics, Leah Martindale became that person and Barbados watched with great excitement and pride as Leah became the first Barbadian swimmer to reach a final at the Olympic Games. Leah placed 5th in the 50 metres freestyle. Olympians Nicholas Neckles, Damian Alleyne, Bradley Ally, Terrance Haynes are all products of this venture.

 

The age group swimmers tally doubled after the opening of the Centre. The Centre facilitated a high level of training which enabled its many swimmers to make the national cut for higher level competitions.   Barbados has been represented at the following international meets since 1990:  Carifta Swimming Championships, The Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships, The Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships, the PanAmerican, Central American and Caribbean, Pan Pacific and Olympic Games, The World Swimming Championships -Short and long course. From among our top swimmers have come a number of Barbados and Exibition Scholars, proving that competitive sport and academic excellence can go hand in hand.

Interschool Swimming:

Perhaps the Aquatic Centre’s greatest achievement is its contribution to the youth of this Country. Presently, more than 40 schools use the pool every week where almost 1000 young children are taught how to swim through the National Sports Council Sports programme. Interschool swimming competition and house sports is also among the activities taking place at the Aquatic Centre. Approximately 20 schools now participate in the Purity Bakery Primary Inter-School meet and the Secondary Inter-School Competition attracts over 18 schools. Over 450 children now take part in these events.

Club Swimming:

The Aquatic Centre is home to approximately 300 swimmers and waterpolo players from  across 8 clubs. These swim clubs have been involved in the development of swimming for many years and have contributed admirably to the positive outlook of the sport: The Pine Hill Alpha Sharks Swim Club-40 years; Sagicor/Sprite Pirates swim Club-30 years; Stingrays Swim Club-20 years; Sunsplash Splash Swim Club (formerly Combined Schools) -19 years; Silver Fins Swim Club-16 years; Heatwave Aquatics-13 years; Atlantis Seafoods Dolphins -6 years.

 

Waterpolo was returned to vibrancy in the year 2002  with synchronised swimming now in the embryonic stages of its rebirth. The Synchronised Swimmers achieved a bronze medal competing at the CISC Championships during the time it was at its peak. Masters Swimming is alive and healthy at the Centre.

 

Marketing:

Over the past 18 years the Aquatic Centre hosted many regional and international events. It has been the venue for 7 celebrations of the Carifta Swimming Championships-1985, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2002 and 2006- one Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships-1998- The Aquatic Centre International Swim Meet inaugurated in 1991 is an annual event and attracts teams from the region. Many Masters Championships have also been held, including the 3rd Latin American and Caribbean Swimming Championships which brought approximately 700 swimmers to Barbados in 1995 and again in 2003. Many teams from North America visit the Centre for winter training during the months of December and January.

 

The Aquatic Centre has played its part in promoting sports tourism on the Island. Since the opening of the Centre, over 13,000 visitors have come to Barbados to take part in swimming activities organized by the Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) or use the centre for training activities. The foreign exchange earned for Barbados by activities at the Aquatic Centre since 1990 is estimated at Bds $24,000,000.

 

The Barbados Amateur Swimming Association in its bid to maintain the pristine conditions for which the Centre is known, continues to seek assistance from the Private sector through the sale of advertising sign boards to be mounted on the fence surrounding the facility.

Sponsorship:

Opportunities abound for sponsoring the various events hosted at the Centre. At present our sponsors include CAVE SHEPHERD & CO LTD, SCOTIA BANK, THE BARBADOS SHIPPING & TRADING, BANKS HOLDINGS, PINE HILL DAIRIES, RMJ AGENCIES, CGM INSURANCE CO LTD, PURITY BAKERIES LTD, GUARDIAN LIFE INSURANCE and many more.

 

With the help of the Community at large, The Barbados Amateur swimming Association will continue to contribute, not only to the advancement of the sport and the development of the youth, but also to the economic development of Barbados.