Fresh from the completion of the new Eket Township Stadium, Governor Udom Emmanuel has flagged off the construction of a first-ever Olympic-sized swimming pool in Akwa Ibom State. The facility, geared towards encouraging the state’s athletes to excel in swimming, is located at the Uyo Township Stadium, currently being remodelled.
Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Sir Monday Uko, who led journalists on a tour of the stadium, said the directive for the construction of the swimming pool came from Governor Emmanuel, who also instructed that the stadium remodelling be completed urgently. “We are in the era of his completion agenda and no project is going to be left uncompleted.” Uko disclosed that the 13th biennial Police Games would be held in Akwa Ibom State from November 20, 2022. The Nigerian Police Force will have their sports competition in Akwa Ibom State. The governor has also graciously accepted to host the event. “It is going to attract over 10,000 policemen and about 39 sporting events will be competed for in the state.”
The sports commissioner decried Akwa Ibom athletes’ abysmal performance in swimming events at national sporting competitions, adding, however, that with the construction of the swimming pool, their performance will improve tremendously. “In the entire state, we do not have an Olympic-sized swimming pool and most of the time, when we go for sports festivals, swimming comes with a lot of medals and Akwa Ibom never had a place where athletes can practice and win these medals. The moment this swimming pool is completed, I am very certain our position in the national sports festival will improve tremendously,” said Uko, who was flanked by his counterpart from the Ministry of Environment, Sir Charles Udoh.
The indigenous construction engineers gave an overview of the specifications of the facilities to be constructed and expressed satisfaction at the level of cooperation and support provided to them by the government for the completion of the project. Engr. Bassey, who spoke on behalf of other engineers, said, “For a complete construction of a swimming pool, the electrical, structural, and mechanical engineers will be present for the work to be professionally handled.
“The accepted standard for an Olympic-sized swimming pool is 50 metres by 25 metres. As engineers, we have come in and every necessary test will be done right from the soil to the concrete to the steel. The design is out and it is going to be wonderful when it is finished. Now, we will have to incorporate other areas of recreation and buildings that will help the facility to work very well. “This directive comes from His Excellency through my boss, and I assure you, it will be delivered as all hands will be on deck.”