New Elite Swim and Gym Facility Gives Uganda Hope

Inadequacy of facilities is Uganda’s major hindrance to prosper at the world stage, at least many have agreed in unison.

Swimming is one of the Sports disciplines that has carried Uganda’s flag aloft at the international scene just like Netball among others.

But unlike Athletics and Boxing for example, Swimming is yet to break the medal-jinx at the top championships like Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

There is still a long way to go, but there are major strides being taken by stakeholders that continue to give hope that success is within reach.

Elite Swim and Gym, a new high performance Sports centre in Ntinda, was commissioned on Tuesday with many stakeholders including National Council of Sports Representatives, Swimmers among others present.

Kirabo Namutebi who represented the country at the 2020 Olympics called it one of the best facilities in Uganda.

“I believe that with the opening of this facility, it will allow for the abundance Swimmers to continue to grow and hopefully in the coming years we can see some Olympic gold medalists, commonwealth champions and various winners,” Kirabo said.

Swimmer Steve Magera commended the addition of the Gym: “The facility has been good for us, we have come here before, our Gators club has been training here, we never had like a Gym facility we could use. This gym can improve on our strength and that is good for us sprinters.”

Swimmers at the facility in Ntinda

Marx Kanyerezi, the General Secretary Uganda Swimming Federation, said that there are a number of swimmers that are enrolling through this facility within the community it’s a major thing that they have been looking for.

Kanyerezi added: “You realize that most of the Pools are within the Schools, Hotels now having this one, a standalone place like this and the number of swimmers it has attracted is amazing and that has brought us having many swimmers on board and that’s what we would expect in such kind of facilities not only. We encourage many investors to come up with such facilities.”

The facility is owned by the parents of Heer Hitesh Usadadiya, a 13-year old, who is also on the National team.

Fahia, the Mother of Heer, said: “This all was inspired by our little boy who is a Swimmer, we didn’t have anywhere to train him from and we were moving from one Pool to another. But putting up this Pool is a dream come true for our son and also for other Swimmers.”

She stated that the facility is open for everyone, and there are Swimming schedules for all those that want to take on Swimming seriously.

On the sacrifices, she commented: “Putting up such a facility came with a lot of sacrifices like selling our own house, borrowing money from our bankers, bringing money from friends. It’s a lot, and paying it back will take something like 10 years. But we are not looking at money, it’s the Swimmers that would have come out may be in ten years that matter and that helps the Sport to grow.”

She revealed that the registered Swimmers are close to 90, adding that everyday they get Swimmers who want to learn and that number continue to grow.

National Council of Sports Chairman Ambrose Tashobya welcomed the initiative and said that Government needs to give further incentives to such investors.

“This is a wonderful project, thanks to the Hitesh family who came out with a project that will impact the community,” Tashobya stated.

“Sports to go to the next level, we need infrastructure, I know the mandate is on us as Government but we recognise that fact that private sector plays a very key role in development of any country.

“This finished project gives hope to many that are willing to do the same, and if we can get about 100 ‘hiteshes’, not only just in Swimming but in other Sports disciplines, we will be good to go.”

“As Government there is need to give these investors tax holidays, waiver on materials etc because the return on investments is not yet as high as for other commercial establishments.”

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