A worker cleans the pool at Veer Budhu Bhagat Aquatic Stadium in Ranchi early this week. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Get ready to beat the heat with a splash.
The state sports department will throw open the gates of Hotwar-based Veer Budhu Aquatic Stadium from April 10 so that Ranchi swimming enthusiasts can train at the state-of-the-art pool.
Officials said they had conducted camps at the Hotwar pool last summer, too, and added that the move was aimed at promoting the growing demand for swimming as a sport in the capital.
In-charge of the mega-sports Sarwar Imam said they had started sanitising the pool. “The pool had gathered dust as it lay unused for many months. We started to clean it earlier this week and work is in the final phase. The pool will be ready in the next two days,” he added.
Imam further said the sports department had revised membership charges to suit everyone. “In 2013, one-year membership at the pool cost Rs 9,000 and members had to pay Rs 250 as monthly fee. This time, we have introduced a two-year membership scheme worth Rs 20,000. Under this scheme, members will not have to pay monthly charges. The total fee can be paid in four instalments of Rs 5,000 each after every six months,” he added.
Imam added they had introduced monthly packages.
“For one month, one has to pay Rs 2,000. For two months’ membership, the charge will be Rs 3,000,” he added.
The in-charge of the sports complex added that swimmers competing at the state and national-level could avail of the facility for free.
“We aren’t going to charge a penny from state or national-level swimmers. There is dearth of pools where they can fine-tune their skills and this move will motivate them to practise regularly,” Imam said.
He added that two lifeguards had already been recruited to respond to emergency situations. Two specialised coaches had also been hired, he added.
“Girls and boys will be trained separately. In the morning, the camp will run from 6:30am to 9:30am, while the evening time will be from 4pm to 7pm. Each batch will be trained for half and hour. Once registrations are over, batches of boys and girls will be formed,” he said, adding that membership forms could be procured from Sports Authority of Jharkhand’s Hotwar office.
“Forms are free, but we are charging Rs 10 for identity cards for each applicant. So far, about 100 forms have been collected from our office. To ensure transparency, all payments are being accepted through demand drafts,” said Imam.