Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Pan Splash gets dry response
One of the organisers of the Pan Splash tent that was set up at the Greens for the Panorama semifinals defended the 70-foot pool yesterday. Few patrons enoyed it during Sunday’s pan semis in the Savannah, however. Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz refused to comment on the pool, which was a collaborative venture between Aqua Fun Park and Pan Trinbago. “I am not talking about no Pan Splash. I talked about it enough already,” Diaz said yesterday in a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian. The pool came under heavy criticism from pan enthusiasts and panmen last week. Phase II Pan Groove composer Len “Boogsie” Sharpe called it a “disrespect” to the national instrument, a word usually used to describe the Greens as a whole.
However, one official from Aqua Fun Park, the company which organised the event, said Pan Splash was helping the pan music. Debra Cumberbatch, an Aqua Fun Park official, yesterday described the Greens as Pan Trinbago’s new initiative to raise funds and said Pan Splash, like the other corporate tents, was contributing financially to the pan. “Over 55 companies are represented in the Greens and they are all here for promotional purposes, but the money spent to have a tent supports the pan,” Cumberbatch said. She said Aqua Fun Park chose to bring a pool because it was innovative and there was no better way to promote the company. “We identify with water and the pool. There is no disrespect to pan. “We are giving people an opportunity to have fun.”
She said Aqua Fun Park was all about fun for children and families. Despite the criticism levelled at it, Pan Splash might have been the only tent to incorporate pan in its tent. The group had a stage set up with the PHI pan, which featured pan performances. Cumberbatch also pointed out that the group had taken care of the logistics, with hi-tech water filters and bathing facilities. “It is not the dirty, nasty water people are talking about,” she said. The group did not receive a lot of patrons, though, something Cumberbatch blamed on negative reports in the media. Though lifeguards were stationed around the perimeter of the pool, it remained empty for most of the afternoon. At around 7 pm a group of five people were seen splashing around in it.