By Paritosh Pramanik :
THE Nagpur Improvement Trust’s (NIT) Swimming Pool in North Ambazari Road will not be limited for leisure swimming any more. For decades, this most vaunted venue for city swimmers saw hordes of budding and fitness freaks thronging during summer seasons to beat the heat. Some even used it to slash that extra flab in their body by taking up swimming classes at this venue. But from now onwards the NIT Swimming Pool will also become the address for an advanced sports academy apart from swimming. The pool, which underwent a major renovation, opened to the general public on Saturday. Midland Sports and Wellness Private Limited has taken the pool on a 15-year lease and will be operating the same. That’s not all.
The company has also started a sports academy—Hanuman Sports Academy — which will not be limited to swimming. Prashant Ugemuge, Managing Director, Midland Sports and Wellness Private Limited, said that the pool will now be developed as a sports academy. “When we took this venue on a 15-year lease, it was in a very bad condition. At one corner there was a statue of Hanuman. We were already planning to start an academy here. Hence we decided to name it as Hanuman Sports Academy,” said Ugemuge while talking with ‘The Hitavada’. Speaking further on the selection procedure for the academy, Ugemuge said, “the enrollment is on. We will hold competitions among the swimmers. Then we will select the best and deserving swimmers. The best would be then sponsored and coached year long. We want to produce champion swimmers from the city. We have set a target of 4-5 years where we wish to produce at least two national swimming champions.”
The Hanuman Sports Academy will not only impart swimming coaching. There will also be proper trainers, physios, dietitians, doctors and nutritionists who would look at the overall development of the swimmers. “We want to produce national champions and for that we need a proper set-up. We have already appointed a couple of coaches and are in process of appointing other faculties,” informed Ugemuge. Apart from swimming, the academy will also train sportspersons in triathlon. “I am also associated with cycling. We will be taking the services of internationally famed ultra-cyclist Dr Amit Samarth who will impart training in cycling and triathlon. We will also be constructing a virtual cycling arena with adjustable temperature modes. The sportspersons would be trained here so that they get a competitive feeling,” Ugemuge further explained. “In next 3-4 months the complex will also boast of a gymnasium, a spa and will also have water yoga.
We will also have a squash court,” Ugemuge proudly said. The Midland Sports and Wellness Pvt Ltd also kept senior citizens in mind and has decided to provide fabulous discounts to them. “Those in the 60 to 75 years bracket will get a 50 per cent discount in their fee while those above 75 years of age will be allowed to use the pool free of cost,” Ugemuge said. About the renovation of the pool, Ugemuge stated that around Rs 45-50 lakh have already been spent and would be investing more. “We would be needing around Rs two crore for further upgradation which also includes installing Ozone treatment plant. Such plants are very less in the country and it filters water in a much better way than the present one,” mentioned the Managing Director. The company faced a lot of difficulties in renovation work. “The biggest challenge was to make the pool water proof. A lot of hard work was required. With the pool shut due to COVID for over two years, the water pumping motors at the treatment plant got damaged and were of no use. We had to replace most of them. The water we are getting is of very poor quality and it had to be treated well. That is also a big challenge,” Ugemuge admitted.
Once the treated water is pumped in the main pool, which is 50 metres in length and 25 metres in width (10 lanes), it looks crystal clear with the blue tiles beneath clearly visible. A warm-up pool has also been constructed for beginners which is of 25 metres length and 15 metres width. “This pool is constructed under the stairs of spectators gallery and hence covered. It can be used by beginners as well as by professionals who can use it in the afternoon as well if they want to avoid the scorching heat,” informed Ugemuge. “The area of the pool for kids has also been increased and the diving pool has also been renovated. Theses will also be opened in a few days,” concluded Ugemuge. It’s time to make a splash!