May 23, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian

The construction of the aquatic center within the Benguet Sports Complex in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet is ongoing with an expected opening by yearend or early next year.

Benguet Rep. Eric Yap said the Department of Public Works and Highways is currently constructing the swimming pools, and his office is working on adding sets of equipment and a generator set. 

Yap said his office has sourced out P150 million for the completion of the project which includes a 50-meter Olympic-size swimming pool, 20-meter lap pool, locker rooms, and bleachers.

He said he coordinated with the DPWH to make sure the standard measurement for an athletic swimming pool is followed and not a hairline missed.

This is to avoid the experiences of other aquatic centers such as the Baguio Athletic Bowl where the supposed 50-meter pool ended up missing a one-inch measurement.

This leads to aquatic sports bodies not being able to approve the aquatic center for national or even international swimming events.   

Prior to the construction of the aquatic center, Yap has engaged with the different athletes and coaches for the design and specifications for the project.

An Olympic-size swimming pool must be 50 meters long, 25 meters wide, and two meters deep according to the standard set by the International Swimming Federation.

With the aquatic center, he hopes that swimmers from the province would be properly trained and would not have to resort to training in rivers or non-standard pools as opposed to their counterpart athletes from Baguio City.

Once opened, the aquatic center may cater to non-athletes who will have to pay while Baguio-based athletes will be given a discount. The payments will be for the maintenance of the aquatic center.