With a huge number of youths turning up at the Corporation Swimming Pool on the Marina to beat the heat, the facility is unable to cope with the need to cater for all swimming enthusiasts who visit the place.
“The number of youths using the swimming pool has increased three times this summer. The swimming pool is unable to handle the rush,” said Rafiq Khan, a trainer at the Chennai Corporation Marina Swimming Pool.
The Corporation charges an entry fee of Rs.15 per hour from users of the pool. The summer special coaching classes have started and would last for two months, he said. The coaching fee is Rs.500.
Another swimming pool of the civic body in north Chennai at My Lady's Park is expected to be opened to public shortly. The Corporation in its 2010-2011 budget announcements indicated more importance to swimming with special training for the team to be constituted by the civic body.
“I heard that children who learn to swim tend to perform better in studies. So I am particular about helping my child learn swimming,” said Sonia Rajan, a parent of a private school student. She said she was paying thousands of rupees at a private swimming camp. But for some parents the fee at private pools is not affordable and the Corporation pool seems to be the best option.
“The fee for Corporation Marina Swimming Pool is reasonable and the facilities are very good,” said A.Siva Kumar, a parent of a 5-year-old student of a private school.
As the Corporation swimming pool permits only persons more than 10 years of age due to safety concerns, the parent said he was forced to seek the services of other swimming pools.
For many students like A.Rocky, too, private pools are not affordable for their parents who are daily wage labourers. The Corporation school student and his friends have been saving money to buy the Rs.15 per hour coupons in order to practise swimming at the Corporation Swimming Pool.
“Getting Rs.15 from my parents for swimming classes is very tough,” he said. “But my friends and I love swimming. So we took a bus from Koyambedu to come to Marina and practise swimming,” he added.
“I pay Rs.15 per hour to swim in the pool. If they permit me to use the pool with a discount in the entry fee, I am confident I can become a better swimmer,” said K.Aravindan, a Corporation school student, from Purasawalkam.