Adult ‘Learn to Swim’ initiative commences on June 3

National Swimming Coach Paul Mahaica

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS), in collaboration with the National Sports Commission (NSC), will commence its inaugural adult ‘Learn to Swim’ initiative this Saturday, June 3, following the resounding success of the annual Easter Vacation Swimming Programme, which was hosted back in April.
The programme, which will be conducted every Saturday and Sunday during the month of June, will be conducted at two facilities: the National Aquatic Centre at Liliendaal, ECD, and the Colgrain Swimming Pool in Georgetown.
The initiative will occur from 14:00hrs to 15:00hrs and from 15:00hrs to 16:00hrs respectively during the aforementioned period. The National Aquatic Centre will be utilized on Saturdays, while the Colgrain Swimming Facility will be used on Sundays.
An opening ceremony is penciled for Saturday at the National Aquatic Centre from 13:15hrs.
Experienced national coach Paul Mahaica will serve as the coordinator and lead trainer. The initiative is being formulated to be introduced to other parts of the nation, namely Linden and Berbice, during the month of July. To date, more than 1200 individuals have registered for the impending project.
“Overwhelming is an understatement with regards to the response to the programme. We have received over 1200 applicants and counting, which is on the heels of the historic 2200 participants garnered for the recently conducted Easter Vacation Swimming Programme. The success of the Easter programme clearly aided in the response to this novel initiative, and once again highlights Government’s commitment in charting a developmental agenda and path for the development of its most important resource, the human capital.
“Once again, the programme is free of cost and will be financially undertaken by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the National Sports Commission,” Director of Sport (DoS), Steve Ninvalle has stated.
According to Ninvalle, “Safety will once again be our guiding light. We are cognizant of the huge turnout, and will employ the requisite safety standards and protocols to ensure an incident-free venture. An environment that is not only safe, but conducive to learning, is what we strive for, and will achieve during this period. That is essential for its success and its continuation.”
Ninvalle further stated, “This event is simply the template or beginning for the enactment of a national programme. We are currently in the planning stage of rolling out the initiative to other parts of the country. Enquires have already been forthcoming by interested parties and regions, but the process will be done in a structured manner. It will be undertaken one step at a time, but an expansion is definitely on the cards for a programme that has all the ingredients of a national platform.”
Meanwhile Mahaica, during brief remarks, said, “This is a very important programme. The numbers that are registering, and we are starting in Georgetown, indicates the eagerness for the opportunity. People are excited and can actually do something that they would have wanted to learn, which was only afforded to their children. Now they also have the opportunity to learn a life skill for free.”
He further said, “We are utilising 32 coaches during this programme. I am seasoned to this programme, and the coaches are individuals that worked on the previous camps and are very experienced and ready to work.”