Lack of maintenance makes swimming pool at Ariyalur sports stadium out of bounds for public 

The pool at the district stadium that was thrown open on November 11, 2013 by then Chief minister J Jayalalithaa used to draw over 150 schoolchildren daily.

Published: 27th March 2022 10:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2022 10:21 AM   |  A+A-

The swimming pool at the District Sports Stadium in Ariyalur | Express

The swimming pool at the District Sports Stadium in Ariyalur | Express

Express News Service

Yet another summer is here but the swimming pool at the District Sports Stadium continues to be out of reach for the public, especially school children who look forward to learning swimming during their vacation, for the fourth straight year. Left with few options, some, not minding the risks, have taken to nearby natural waterbodies to pursue their interest in swimming.

The pool at the district stadium that was thrown open on November 11, 2013 by then Chief minister J Jayalalithaa used to draw over 150 schoolchildren daily.

Charged `50 per hour, they would utilise the pool to learn swimming between 6 am and 6 pm. There were summer classes as well, where lifeguards would assist them in lessons. Others availed of it to prepare for competitions.

A lack of maintenance, however, kept the pool out of bounds, and the Covid-19 regulations only led to it reportedly getting neglected for the past four years. As a result, schoolchildren, who hardly have another place to swim in safety, take to the lakes and ponds nearby to pursue it.

S Sowmiya a school student, said, "I had been practising swimming at the pool for three consecutive months. Unfortunately, it closed down temporarily owing to a lack of maintenance, before the Covid lockdown. The situation continued even after that. Thus, many students, including me, could not continue swimming practice there."

"I am learning to swim in the lake near my house during the school holidays with my father. As the lake is deep, I learn with fear. But I can easily learn to swim at the pool as there is adequate protection there," she added.

Another student, V Dharshini of Anna Nagar, said, "Some friends in our area and I, out of interest, had been learning to swim for months. But the pool has not been functioning for the past four years.” She further pointed out that there are facilities for all other sports, except swimming.
Student R Dhileepan said, "I recently visited the swimming pool. The interior tiles and walls of the pool were damaged. There is no lighting facility.

Authorities should focus on the issues and rectify them in the interest of the students." When contacted, District Sports Officer V Jayakumar Raja told TNIE that the pool had been out of bounds for the public due to “Covid restrictions”.

“Thus the tiles and walls are damaged there. We informed the government about it two months ago. Steps will be taken to open it soon after repairs."



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