Lalitpur, September 22
National Sports Council and Nepal Swimming Association today signed the memorandum of understanding for the heated swimming pool facilities.
As per the agreement signed by NSC Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista and NSA President Ashok Bajracharya at the presence of Youth and Sports Minister Purushottam Paudel, the NSC would provide the 2690 square feet land at the International Sports Complex to construct the 25X25m pool which will have heating system.
According to NSA General Secretary Jagat Man Shrestha, the association will submit a detailed project report after testing the soil to the NSC within three months and a three-member committee will be formed to look after the project, which will be completed in two years. “After the completion of the pool, we can produce Asian-standard swimmers and we won’t have to be confined within the South Asian region,” said Shrestha. “We will be able to train the players for 10 months, unlike previous years when the swimmers trained for four months and stay back at their homes for the rest of the period,” he added.
Out of the estimated budget of Rs 100 million, the government will bear the 80 per cent expenses, while the association will manage the remaining 20 per cent amount. The international swimming body, FINA has provided the NSA with $25,000 to construct the pool. “If the government gives us the assured amount on time, we will finish the project within the given deadline,” Shrestha added. The new facilities will be constructed on the southern side of the existing swimming pool. Apart from training the players, the facility will also be used for commercial purpose and the NSA would provide the NSC with the 20 per cent of the profit every year.
Minister Paudel said the government was ready to invest in infrastructure development but the NSC and sports associations failed to submit the projects. “We were in a position to sign agreement with associations for upto 10 projects but unfortunately the stakeholders did not have any,” said Paudel. “We have already started works taekwondo and karate academies and signed the agreement with ANFA for Chyasal football grounds,” he said. “After the April 25 earthquake damaged the Dasharath Stadium, we felt a need of multipurpose hall. For that, we have already signed the deal with Tribhuvan University,” he added.
NSC Member Secretary Bista said coordination among the stakeholders of sports was must for the overall development of the project. “We can explore many areas if we work together,” he said. “We are in talks for a five-court badminton facility and we will come up with big projects after the seventh National Games to take Nepali sports to new height through fast-track development,” Bista added.
Nepal Olympic Committee General Secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha urged the government to initiate and implement certain policies to uplift the athletes. “We need to formulate policies and implement them properly to produce medal-winning players in world stage,” he added. “From NOC’s part, we are always there to help the players and associations.”
NSA President Bajracharya said the heated swimming pool was a dream project of the association. “We were looking for this project for a long time and we are thankful to minister Paudel for taking the initiation and NSC Member Secretary Bista for materializing it,” Bajracharya said. “Now I assure you Nepal will have a swimmer in the 2020 Olympics Games through qualification,” he added.