THE Republic of China on Taiwan has contributed $1,055.290.54 in grant funds to towards commencement works on the new Aquatic Centre that will be built to the east of the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
The money was presented to the government on Thursday. In addressing the gathering Prime Minister Kenny Anthony said St. Lucia ought not to view this EC $12 million investment in the national aquatic centre simply as facilitating a sport. It is vital citizens are taught this life skill”
He continued, “Being able to swim is a matter of life or death. And we have sadly seen over the years far too many unfortunate lives lost in our waters due to persons being unable to swim, unable to contend with the sea, whether it has fury or not. It is a shameful reality that despite being surrounded by waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the vast majority of our population cannot swim or stay afloat in these waters. This we need to change, and while infrastructure alone is not the answer, it is a major step in the right direction”.
The Prime Minister thanked the Republic of China (Taiwan) for their continued support in all sectors in St.Lucia.
He explained the rationale for the selected location of the facility. He said, “This EC$12 million project will realise the dream of Beausejour becoming a National Sports Centre. Already we have located there the Beausejour Cricket Ground which sees international cricket, the Beausejour Indoor Facility and the six courts National Tennis Centre, the latter being built through funding from your Government. The proposed location is approximately 2.5 acres of land immediately east of the BCG at the junction of Beausejour and Comerette roads”.
The Prime Minister said the National Aquatic Centre will provide St.Lucia with an Olympic size swimming pool and related support infrastructure. In fact the proposed pool will be a 65 metre eight lane pool with an adjustable bulkhead, while an Olympic standard pool is 50 metres; the additional pool space will be provided for warm up, warm down and learn to swim programmes. The current designs envisage a 500 seat pavilion with support amenities for spectators, showers, a small gym as well as administrative and tournament offices.
The EC$ 1, 055, 294. 54 cheque was presented to Prime Minister Anthony by James Chang, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Lucia.