Sports as a pastime, as a competitive or spectator activity and sports entertainment at its best is an important part of the day-to-day reality of life in Barbados. Whether cricket, football, tennis, hockey, or athletic meets, there is some form of sports life and event to appeal to the even the most non-athletic person who may just be contented to watch and support a family member, friend or fan from the safety of the spectator area or the living room.
On the premises of the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, which is located in a strategic location in the parish of Christ Church in Barbados, lays the Barbados Aquatic Centre. Opened in 1989, the Aquatic centre boasts of a fifty (50) metre Olympic sized swimming pool which hundreds of people of all nations and all ages frequent at different times to attend swimming lessons, put in serious training time or attend or participate in swim meets.
The Centre falls under the ambit of the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association and this venue, which can be reached from the Grantley Adams International Airport and most locations on the west coast in a about thirty (30) minutes or so, has hosted both regional and international swimmers for meets. Indeed, so recognized is it, that a number of swimming teams "migrate" to Barbados from North America for the purpose of continuing their training during the months of December and January, their winter months.
With respect to local usage, the Aquatic Centre can claim to host members from a number of swim clubs island wide. If one comes to the island and is interested in swimming lessons for in becoming member of a club to hone or enhance existing skills, there are clubs from which one can select and make enquiries of just going straight into the sea is not ideal. Names such as Alpha Sharks, Pirates, Stingrays, Silver Fins, Heatwave and Atlantis Dolphins are some of the clubs on the island of Barbados.
The pool is well maintained and the surroundings are relaxing. More than adequate seating is available for spectators and at major meets, whether regional or local school competitions, one can see the extent to which swimming is supported in Barbados.
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