‘Children above 7 years of age can learn the basics in 20 to 30 days'
What better way to beat the summer heat than to take a splash in the pool? Children may shun other forms of physical training but they find a dip in the pool irresistible, especially during summer holidays. Once they become expert swimmers they can participate in competitions at the district, state, national and international levels or they can even take up careers in diving, which are highly rewarding.
There are a few pools in the city that offer training in swimming to children, women and men. They include: the Aqua Sports Complex, which is under the control of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), and the private ones at Dolphin Hotel, Palm Beach Hotel and Novotel Varun Beach, which offer training to the public through special camps. The training camps at the private pools are quite expensive.
The monthly membership fee for learners at the Aqua Sports Complex is Rs.500 for adults and Rs.250 for children. The complex, which meets international pool standards, has produced a good number of national champions at the junior level over the years.
The pool, which is 50 m long and 16-foot deep at the deep side, has eight lanes. The diving equipment includes: 1 m, 3 m, 5, 7.5 m and 10 m platforms. The learners are taught freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. “There is no casual access at present and we are not allowing visitors to take a dip. We plan to introduce it in future,” Director of Sports (GVMC) Srinivasa Rao told The Hindu on Thursday.
“We have a filtration plant and the water is being chlorinated and cleaned regularly. There are no complaints of skin infections at present. The GVMC is not involved in the sale of costumes (swimming gear like goggles and caps) at the pool. Some members could be doing it and we will take action against those selling the costumes at high prices,” he said when his attention was brought to complaints in this regard.
“The training is being offered all through the year. But, summer vacations draw the maximum crowd to the pool. Children above 7 years of age can learn the basics in 20 to 30 days,” says P. Appala Naidu, Sports Association of AP Coach, who has recently participated in the World Master Aquatic Championship at Gutenberg, Sweden.