ASAJ gives timeline for MoBay pool construction
A period of 18 months has been offered up by the president of the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), Handel Lamey, for the construction of a competition-ready swimming pool in Montego Bay.
Lamey told The Gleaner on Tuesday that dialogue is ongoing with the St James Parish Council in regard to the long overdue construction, which was first brought to their attention in 2013, when vandals destroyed the 25-metre pool belonging to the Blue Marlin Swim Club.
"There is a plan afoot to establish a Swim Jamaica franchise in western Jamaica from which swimmers will transition to the various national programmes, But this will only take place when we have constructed a competition-ready pool there," Lamey said.
"While it is taking some time to get under way, we remain committed to this project, with only a few outstanding issues to sort through," he added.
These issues include sourcing funds to deal with the construction and to put in place an administrative team.
Lands adjacent to Jarrett Park have already been identified for the project, with the initial plans put forward for the construction of a 50-metre in-ground pool.
However, according to Lamey, the original plan was tweaked in order to bring the project off the table and into reality.
As a consequence, the association is now looking at constructing an above-ground 25-metre pool, complete with changing rooms and seating facility on the site.
However, they could face objections from some quarters, including Rosemarie Logan, president of the Blue Marlin Swim Club.
Logan has for some time been at the forefront of the drive to secure construction of an Olympic-sized pool in Montego Bay. She said the area next to Jarrett Park is not an ideal location, adding it would make for better sense to build on or near the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
Montego Bay is home to Blue Marlin, with the relatively new Sailfish Swim Club also looking to make a mark.
"These two clubs, we are aware, are making their mark in relation to developing talented swimmers for the national programme. We salute them and hope that once we complete this pool they will benefit and keep producing quality swimmers," Lamey said.