Dirty Northdale pool threatens to derail swimming star’s plans

2011-03-10 00:00

YOUNG Arisna Maharaj’s preparations for the Level One National Championship to be held in Kimberly next month could be derailed if Msunduzi Municipality carries on with its plans to close the Olympic swimming pool in Northdale so its dirty water can be treated.

“I have been swimming for the past three years and I enjoy it very much because I love water,” the 12-year-old said yesterday.

She said that if the municipality closes the pool her training plans for the championships will be greatly affected because it is the only pool she can use.

Parents also voiced their concern, saying the closure would be a pity in the current heatwave.

They warn that the pool is so dirty that drowning is a real possibility.

Gonasagran ‘Willy’ Williams, the developmental officer for Penguins swimming club at the Olympic pool said: “The conditions at the Olympic swimming pool have deteriorated in such a way that the municipality may have to close it this Friday, which does not augur well with the swimming training programme that I have for my swimmers ahead of the swimming gala to be held on Sunday in Durban.”

He said his swimmers are also participating in the KwaZulu-Natal Championships at the end of this month and he is training Arisna, who has been selected to represent the provincial high schools in Kimberley next month.

“It is sad that the municipality does not prioritise funding for the previously disadvantaged persons who we are trying to integrate into the aquatic programmes,” said Williams.

He said the club has been buying extra chlorine to treat the pool.

“These pools never open on time and during this part of the year the municipality always gives the same excuse without fail,” added Williams.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said: “There was a delay in the approval of the chlorine order which is ordered for annual use.

“However, the authorities have approved it and it will be delivered anytime now.”

He said that if the pool is closed it will be temporarily, while it is treated.

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