Acting Minister of Sports Ali Waheed revealed that land has been acquired in capital Male' to build an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which is one of the electoral pledges of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration.
According to the Acting Sports Minister, the project will be officially launched on March 26.
The last four administrations also planned to construct a swimming pool although none of the plans reached fruition. The swimming pool is the most ambitious 100-day pledge of the current government for the sports sector.
The next step of the project is to seek contractors for the project. All the details of the pool plan will be revealed on March 26.
Additionally, as part of the development of the sports sector, the table tennis hall in Muni Ufaa Youth Centre will be reopened on Sunday after renovation. This project was carried out by the Ministry of Sports in collaboration with a Chinese contractor.
President Solih's administration has already fulfilled the pledge of granting an MVR 500,000 yearly budget to every sports association as well as equalizing the salaries of all Maldivian team players.
The establishment of a swimming pool is something many swimmers have been looking forward to, ever since official tournaments started being held in the country. Currently all practices and tournaments take place in a swimming track in Male's south-side lagoon.
Moreover, swimmers complain of having to practise in a public area, which is also polluted due to oil spills and trash. They further noted that all administrative work and ceremonies have to be held on the road or pavement near the swimming track.
Swimming is the only sport Maldivians compete in at a high level without proper training facilities. Therefore, many sports enthusiasts have been calling for the establishment of proper facilities, especially with the promising performances seen from swimmers in recent history.
The Indoor Sports Complex project announced in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration will also house a swimming pool. The complex is currently under construction by Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale'.
However, this pool can only be utilized for practices, as tournaments require certain regulations to be met, as well as a warm-up pool.