Users of Rowe Park sports centre raise concerns about swimming pool

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Lagos, – Some users of Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park, Yaba on Thursday raised concerns about the continued shutdown of swimming pool, five months after a recreational swimmer died the pool.

The facility was shut down by the Lagos State Sports Council, soon after a swimmer drowned at the pool, apparently because of the absence of a standby lifeguard.

The council said they had been looking for lifeguard to engage before they could re- the facility to the public.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who visited the centre, reports that the pool has been drained of water, except for little collection from recent rainfall.

The official who spoke to the correspondent under anonymity said the pool was still in good shape, except for the absence of water.

However, some of the users have appealed to Lagos State Government to hasten the process of re-opening the pool for swimmers preparing ahead of major competitions, including the upcoming National Sports Festival.

They noted that there would be the need for routine maintenance since the facility had been out of use for a while.

Some of them urged that steps be taken to ensure that the facility was maintained just like the other facilities that had been been adjudged to be in good shape.

The stakeholders praised some of the facilities such as the basketball courts, handball, tennis, volleyball and the multipurpose indoor sports that they adjudged to be in good shape.

A coach, who pleaded anonymity said the facilities were in reasonable good condition but urged the council to adopt a more responsive method for maintenance.

“The tennis courts are in commendable conditions but that some of the facilities will need to have floodlights fitted to aid their use at night times.

“They must seek to adopt prompt maintenance culture, especially once they observe something going bad. They must react with dispatch to ensure that the quality of the centre is upheld,’’ the source said.

A badminton player acknowledged that the indoor hall had good floors but that the flood lighting system needed to be repaired.

The source also added that that the cooling system would need to be repaired due to hot weather.

Kayode Olabanji, a recreational basketball player commended the sports council for maintaining basketball and handball courts.

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He said he was impressed at the handling of the facilities by authorities. “The courts are fully functional and that is why I like coming here to play. It is accessible to anyone in the area’’.

Bashir Agunloye, the Public Officer of Lagos State Sports Council said there were no substandard facilities at the centre as the management had a system in place where the facilities would undergo regular routine maintenance.

“Anytime there is a sporting activity here the place is cleaned . We also ensure that facilities are well maintained, we ensure routine maintenance because the centre must be up to international standard.

“The pool is not in use because of the unfortunate death of a recreational swimmer who died due to absence of lifeguard, about five months ago.

“We are working on installing better security measures and engaging standby professional lifeguards to help in ensuring the safety of users of the pool, before re-opening the facility,’’ he said. (NAN)