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Aquatics federation president says lack of funds bane of swimming


Lagos  –   Babatunde Fatai-William, President, Nigeria Aquatic Federation (NAF), on Friday blamed lack of
facilities and adequate funding to prosecute national and state competitions for the sport’s poor development.

Fatai-Williams made the assertion in Lagos during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the state of swimming in the country.

Fatai-Williams said that the most worrisome of the factors affecting swimming was lack of fund and facilities.

“Funding has become one of the problems we have as a federation and it hampers our programmes and competitions.

“We have been trying to get sponsors for our different competition but with the present state of the economy, we have not succeeded.

“We also have issues of facilities which I think will be solved within a short time when the renovation of the National Stadium, Lagos swimming pool will be completed.

“At the pool’s completion, we will then decide on the competitions we will be having but first, we will wait for the completion of the swimming pool, he said.

Fatai-Williams said in spite of lack of funds, the two competitions slated for the first quarter of the year would now hold this second quarter.

“We already have two competitions in the pipeline, first is the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Open Swimming Championships scheduled for Calabar.

“We have yet to agree on the date of the competition but we have already had a meeting on it which was concluded on Wednesday, we will give the date later.

“The Chief of Naval Staff Open Swimming competition has been an event that has become an annual event and the decision to host it in Cross River is because we rotate it among the states.

“The competition will also include swimmers from outside Nigeria,’’ he said.

Fatai-Williams said that other programmes by the federation were the Lagos Open Waters Swimming Competition which might take place in May or September.

“Lagos Open waters competition will take place sometimes in May and if we cannot have it then, it will be postponed to September.

“This is because the competition will be held in open waters and because the current may be too high during the heavy rain it will
disrupt our programme.

“For competitions like that we need calm waters so that we can achieve good results,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the Olympic Size Swimming pool at the National stadium Lagos, abandoned for years was being renovated on the order of the incumbent Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung.

The swimming pool, now wearing a new look with some added facilities, including plastic chairs for spectators, repair of the water borehole facilities and the engines may host some of the tournaments.

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