Gov Mimiko Commissions Abandoned 50-Metre Swimming Pool…34 years After Conception
Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko disclosed on Saturday in Akure the state capital said that his administration would soon launch the State Swimming Academy to reposition swimming as a strategic sporting activity in which the state has a competitive advantage.
The Governor, while commissioning a newly completed 50-meter Olympic size swimming pool at the State Sports Stadium in Akure, to mark his second anniversary in office, explained that his administration’s determination to fast track the completion of the project, which had been on for about 34 years was to provide the state–of-the-art facilities for the state’s swimmers to showcase their potentials in line with modern trend.
According to the Governor, the new swimming pool is equipped with changing rooms and power house, including covered sitting terraces capable of accommodating about 2000 spectators at once.
Dr Mimiko said that the philosophy of his administration was to make every project embarked upon a benchmark not for Nigeria but for the continent of Africa, stressing that the government would continue to concentrate on the areas in which the state competitive advantage.
He disclosed further that the contract for a 50 -meter swimming pool at Igbokoda in the riverine area of the state would soon be awarded, while mini swimming pools were to be constructed in strategic locations across the state.
His words, “Our philosophy is that everything we are going to do will be a benchmark for the African continent. Our ambition is not to be the best in Africa alone, but we are determined to produce swimmers that will represent this country outside this continent. Even at the level of Olympic Games, our athletes will represent Nigeria and they will come back with gold medals by the grace of God. That is our goal.”
He however commended the efforts of the management and players of the State-owned Sunshine Stars Football Club for their superlative performance in the on-going Nigeria Premier League, saying that the club, which was about to be relegated before the inception of his administration has gotten the ticket to represent the country at the continental level.
In his message, the President of the Nigeria Swimming Federation, Mr Babatunde Fatai-Williams, who congratulated the Mimiko-led administration for breaking the 30-year jinx and for completing the swimming pool, described the state as a ‘swimming factory’ that has produced swimmers who have brought honour and glory to the state and country.
He said, “The Nigeria Swimming Federation therefore is extremely happy to join the good people of Ondo State in celebrating the commissioning of this wonderful swimming pool, a project that was started in 1978 and has gone through many administrations and of course many contractors”.
Also the first state chairman of the swimming association, Mr Guy Garguilo noted that the facilities would provide conducive avenue for both the young and old swimmers in the state to train and showcase their potentials in the best interest of the state and swimming as a profession.