Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Frank Anthony yesterday morning officially opened a Summer Camp at the Colgrain Swimming Pool, Camp Street, Georgetown, where more than 80 children from several parts of the country would spend the next two weeks being taught the basic techniques in swimming, as well as receive guidance in the intricacies of water safety techniques.
The camp is one of dozens organised by the Ministry of Sports to engage children, now starting the long August holidays, to find meaningful activities.
Indeed, school is out and the August holidays have begun. While some parents are financially endowed and would have booked flights to take their children to a foreign country, in reward for their academic achievements, some children are not so fortunate.
With no cash to engage in worthwhile activity, these children may very well have to spend their August vacation simply idling around, which could create the kind of environment that precipitates criminal activities.
Maybe it is this realisation that has prompted the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, in collaboration with the National Sports Commission, to organise the swim camp for children of the above-mentioned ilk.
Yesterday morning, more than 80 children convened at the Colgrain Swimming Pool to engage in swimming exercises, under the tutelage of NSC coach Stephney Fraser. The facilitator explained that the programme is a yearly event that caters for children between the ages of 5-7 years old. There is no fee attached for participation.
Fraser also intimated that the organisers had catered for about 80 children but they were overwhelmed with more than 200 applications. She further said that the facility could not facilitate such a huge number and regrettably, they had to refuse admission to dozens of children.
That aside, Fraser said that even if she was willing to bend the rules a little she was constrained by another impediment. She said that the Colgrain Pool has been in need of a filter system for sometime now and as such, was not functioning to its optimum.
Fraser further revealed that a new filter costs about five million dollars. Coupled with the prohibitive cost, she said that an installation cost of $200.000 would also be required to consummate the process. Fraser said that she had approached Minister Frank Anthony for a replacement, but he said that he was unable to accommodate the request at this time since he did not cater for it in his current budget. He further promised to make representations for the equipment in next year’s budget.
Meanwhile, Fraser intimated that the Government is funding the construction of an aquatic complex in Lilliendaal, opposite the CARICOM Secretariat. She said that workers have already started construction works on the project which will measure some 50 meters in length.
In respect to the current summer camp, Fraser Stephanie said that the children would be schooled in the basic techniques in swimming. She said that at the end of the exercise the participants would receive certificates.
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