BULAWAYO City Pool better known as Borrow has continued to defy all odds, holding the pressures of being the only pool in the city capable of hosting national and international events.
The pool was built in 1926 and will be turning 97 this year.
It used to be called Borrow before the change of street names from Borrow to Samuel Parirenyatwa Street.
The facility has seen many major developments. When it was built it was a 25×25 metre pool. It was extended in 1956 to a 25 x 50metre pool – an Olympic size pool, suitable to also host diving competitions.
In 2014, Zimbabwe hosted the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games in Bulawayo and major developments were made to the facility. These included the construction of 25 x 25 metre warm up pool a standard junior Olympic or short course pool also suitable for water polo games, touch pads and score board for accurate timing and 15 metre and 25 metre masts floodlights were fitted to improve visibility in beaming live games, just to mention a few.
Bulawayo City Council (BCC) Nesisa Mpofu corporate communications manager said: “The pressure is always there from day one till end of year. However, we manage to pull through, we have well trained and professional swimming pool staff that are always up on their toes to withstand the pressure.”
“In maintaining standards, the council makes sure that it recruits well trained staff. The staff regularly attend courses to do with water treatment. We also make sure stocks of chemicals are in place, constant servicing of reticulation pumps, motors and starters for effective running of the pool.”
In the 1980’s the pool was once voted one of the best pools in the southern hemisphere. The pool is not only recognisable in Bulawayo but the whole country as it is the only pool with state-of-the-art equipment.
The Covid-19 pandemic affected the running of the pool as the city council was financially strained and because of limited staff at work the pipework, motors, pumps and starters all needed repairs and replacement.
Bulawayo City Pool is expected to host the Zimbabwe senior championships from 16 February to 23 February where all the provinces will compete.
More tournaments are expected to take place as the season progresses.
“The pool is open to the public as from 1 September and will run till the end of April 2023, which is the end of swimming season and the pool is not privatised,” added Mpofu.