Ian K Ramdhanie, msC,
Champion T&T swimmer George Bovell III says that his success to date was due to luck, given the inadequate facilities he has had to work with in this country.
Bovell told the T&T Guardian during a tour of the Aquatic Centre which is currently under construction in Couva:”I love my country and I am proud that I have been able to bring some success in the swimming pool for T&T but I must say that it has come as luck and a fluke.
“Imagine winning Olympic medals, and other world medals and not having a proper swimming pool to use in your own country. I tried my best with what I was given to use and had to use facilities outside this country to develop my swimming.”
Bovell said since 2003 he was promised a full sized Olympic pool but only now he is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Since 2003 I was promised an Olympic size swimming pool and nothing happened. I remember I used to joke and say that it will be called the ‘George Bovell III Memorial Swimming Pool’ and I would never be able to use it.
“I am happy now that we are getting this world class facility in Couva and that I am still involved in the sport, so I can train right here. I must say it speaks to the credibility of the minister of Sports Anil Roberts, in that he can sway the government of the day to build this facility. The government must also be congratulated for the fact that they are putting their money where their mouth is.”
The Aquatic Centre is being built next to the Cycling Velodrome and the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. It will comprise a full size warm-up pool, a full size competition pool and a diving pool. There will also be facilities for children to practice their diving in foam before they hit the water.
Bovell added that with the proposed facility, T&T should get many more medals on the world stage. “I got success without all this, so imagine what the youngsters coming up can achieve with this pool coming on stream. I am particularly very excited about the project and I am looking forward to bringing in many top swimmers for international competition right here in T&T.”
The facility is ear-marked to be completed in May 2015.