Lawas to have grand aquatic centre with Olympic-size pools

Children training at the swimming pools at Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre.

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KUCHING, May 31: Lawas is set to have a grand aquatic centre featuring Olympic-size pools.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the aquatic centre project which currently being planned will be implemented under the Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA).

“It will not be under Sarawak Sports Council (SSC) which currently ovesees the operation and management of seven swimming pools mainly in Kuching and Samarahan areas.

“The Sarawak government is planning to build more aquatic centres in various districts of Sarawak,” he told a press conference after officiating at the soft opening of the leisure pool at the Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre in Petra Jaya here today.

Abdul Karim, who is also Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts, pointed out that the government also aims to enhance existing swimming pools throughout Sarawak, focusing on adding roofing structures to provide protection from the elements and create more favourable training conditions.

On the opening of the leisure pool for public use, he said the government want to make sports facilities in Sarawak more accessible and people-friendly so as to provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds and ages to engage in physical activities and recreational pursuits.

Abdul Karim (third left) after unveiling the banner to symbolically launch the leisure pool at Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre on May 31, 2023. Also seen is Gerald (second left) and Awang Putrayusrie (right).

Meanwhile, SSC chief executive officer Awang Putrayusrie Awang Redzuan said that the training and leisure pools located at Level 1 of the Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre have attracted some 10,000 visitors since it reopened to the public on May 23.

“The pools have not been utilised (by the public) since the agreement between SSC and the tenant ceased in February 2021.

“However, following encouragement from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development, SSC has assumed responsiblity for managing and operating the pools,” he explained.

In light of the overwhelming response from the public, Awang Putrayusrie reassured visitors and athletes that their safety will be prioritised and maintained.

The eight-lane training pool is 50 metres long by 25 metres wide, while the leisure pool is 60 metres long by 25 metres wide.

The Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre swimming pools are open for public use from Tuesday to Friday from 4pm to 8pm, as well as on weekends and public holidays from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 7pm. The facility is closed on Mondays for maintenance purposes.

The fee per entrance is RM4 for adults aged 18 and above, and RM2 for children aged two to 17.

For those looking for extended access, a season pass valid for one month costs RM60 per adult (aged 18 and above) and RM30 per child (aged two to 17).

Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Development Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu was also present. — DayakDaily

The leisure pool at Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre is now open for public use.