MATABELELAND Swimming Board will on Saturday hold a mass participation event at Barbourfields Swimming Pool.
Barbourfields Swimming Pool has not been working for years and little had been done to rehabilitate the dilapidated facility.
Mpopoma and Luveve Bulawayo City Council-run swimming pools re-opened on 1 October last year after being closed for 15 years meaning the City of Kings and Queens now had five operational pools, which also include Bulawayo City Pool, Barham Green and North End.
This was much to the joy of school going children who have been thronging the recreational centres in numbers. With the scorching heat that has punctuated these past few weeks, adults are in it too.
According to Matabeleland Swimming Board chairperson Megan Nesbitt, the weekend’s swimming event is aimed at opening up swimming to a wider participation.
“While emphasising on the importance of the sport as a life skill that people can use in times of emergency, we are going to have swimming tutors teaching participants how to swim and also have exhibition races,” said Nesbitt.
She added that they were grateful that “swimming pools in the western areas have reopened, giving a chance to more people to take part in the sport”.
Another mass participation event was set for Mpopoma Swimming Pool in January.
Meanwhile, the recently held Open Water Swim at Ncema Dam saw 25 swimmers taking part in the event. The first event of its kind held by the swimming board saw swimmers from Penguins, Barracudas and SOS taking part in races that ranged between 500m and three kilometres.
“It was an inaugural event and we had swimmers aged between eight and 15. We have not yet set a date for the next open water event as a province due to the hectic calendar but if we manage to get a free weekend we will squeeze in one more event before going for the National Open Water Championships that will be held in February,” said Nesbitt.