* Digital race clocks to be installed by end ofthe week
The University of Botswana (UB) Olympic size swimming poolthat was recently installed with a multi-million Pula heating system is ready for the Africa Youth Games.
The 50m, 4.5 deep and 1.8m shallow pool has been installed with a heating and timing system worth over P4 million.
There are only two Olympic size swimming pools in Botswana being the UB and Otse, and the UB pool is the only one with a heating system. Installation of a heating system is a pre-requisite for games of this magnitude.
This should come as a relief for young swimmers who were worried about the dropping temperatures in the country. It is however a different story for those involved in the triathlon at the Otse Police College; they have no choice but to face the cold winter water at the pool.
According to the Botswana African Youth Games Organizing Committee (BAYGOC) Chief Executive Officer, TueloSerufho, they could not install both pools with the heating system dueto financial constraints but have however put measures in place to regulate the Otse pool temperature.
“At Otse we are simply going to rely on pool covers which will be used to cover the pool during the night so itdoes not lose much temperature,” he said.
“Otse pool will be cold for the triathlon athletes but there is not much we can do because of the prohibitive cost,” said Serufho.
The UB swimming pool whose generators were connected this week will require the system to be switched on for four to five days before the games begin, for the pool to reach the required 27 degrees Celsius. Serufho revealed that the contracted company was recommended by the Swimming Association in conjunction with the University.
“This will be UB’s and the Association’s legacy,” he said.
“From here on we will not have an excuse for not swimming during winter and we will always attribute that legacy to the games. The world class race timing system that will be installed during this week will be thecherry on top to deliver a high standard event,” he stressed.
For his part team Botswana Chef de mission TshepoSitaletold Voice Sport that they were excited with the development at the pool, more so that it all went according to specifications.
“Our athletes are ready and Team Botswana will field eight athletes in swimming. Currently we havetwo of our athletes at the high performance center (HPC) in South Africa, the other two with private coaches still in South Africa while the last four are in camp here,” he shared.
The UB pool is located within the Athletes’ village, eastward of the information area.It is complete with changing rooms plus an audience floor that can accommodate 1500 people, floodlighting, doping rooms, first-aid room, technical offices and training pool.