Downtown

Special touch to swimming pool

Children practicing swimming at Chennai Corporation Swimming Pool at Periamet. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam  

Five years after it was opened to ease the rush at the Marina Swimming Pool, My Lady Swimming Pool, near Chennai Central, is drawing an impressive number of youngsters. There are 110 members, aged between 10 and 35 years, enrolled with the swimming pool. The highlight is that out of 110, nine are special children, aged between eight and 16 years.

The swimming pool is the lone government-run facility in the city that admits special children. Tucked away between Chennai Central railway station and Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium, the swimming pool was set up in July 2010 at a cost of Rs 1.2 crore . The aim was to open the pool near Chennai Central so that swimming team mainly consisting of students from Corporation schools could be created.

As the Corporation had many experienced trainers, the civic body allowed special children to get trained in swimming.

“The chief swimming coach at My Lady Swimming Pool was the chief swimming coach in the police force for many years before he took up this assignment in 2004. The enrolment of special children at the swimming pool is voluntary and training is given free of cost,” said a Corporation official.

M. Muniyandi, chief swimming coach, is helped by a six-member team.

The pool is open between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4.45 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On Sundays, the pool is run only in the forenoon. On Mondays, it is kept closed for maintenance. An entry fee of Rs. 15 per hour is charged from users of the pool.

Unlike the Marina facility, the swimming pool does not conduct summer camps as the facility is aimed at training students from poor families who cannot afford the camp fee.

“Unlike the other swimming pools in the city, the one at Chennai Central is a bit deeper (5 feet). Such depth allows visitors to test their swimming skills. However, trained instructors continuously monitor the movements of the learners, especially special children,” said Muniyandi.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 5:17:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/special-touch-to-swimming-pool/article7093049.ece

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