World Aquatics' first regional centre to open in Bahrain

04 Jan 2024
World Aquatics' first regional centre to open in Bahrain

Manama, Jan. 4 (BNA): The World Aquatics and the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) today laid the foundation stone for the establishment of the Bahrain World Aquatic Centre at the University of Technology Bahrain (UTB), in partnership with GFH Financial Group and the Bahrain Swimming Association.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports First Deputy Chairman, General Sports Authority Chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee President, the foundation stone laying ceremony was attended by senior state officials, guests and Bahrain national swimming team players.

HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad expressed pleasure at the new achievement, noting that it represents a new step towards establishing a global centre for water sports in the kingdom.

His Highness stressed that the project will boost water sports in the region, and add to the kingdom’s status as a pioneering global sporting hub, expressing congratulations to the partners for their efforts to develop the project.

“We look forward to welcoming world athletes to the kingdom to train and compete, as well as realise their dreams and aspirations in the field of sports,” HH said.

HH Shaikh Khalid underlined the importance of the Bahrain World Aquatic Centre in embracing renowned swimmers from Bahrain and abroad, as well as in linking science with sports in one of the most successful sports projects launched in partnership with the private sector.

His Highness stressed BOC’s keenness to strengthen its partnership with the World Aquatics, and cooperation with the GFH Group to make the Kingdom a centre for developing various water sports.

Commenting, Dr. Husain Al Musallam, World Aquatics President, asserted that the project would boost water sports in the Middle East, noting that the Bahrain World Aquatic Centre will serve swimmers at the international levels, and contribute to preparing a new generation of athletes and trainers.

He added that the Centre would consolidate the kingdom’s position as an ideal and distinguished destination for hosting international water sports events.

Hisham Alrayes, CEO of GFH Financial Group, UTB Board of Directors Chairman, expressed pride in the pioneering project which will attract the world water sport community to Bahrain, as well as meet the needs of local athletes, students and members of the community.

He also affirmed the commitment of GFH Group and UTB to strengthening Bahrain’s status as a pioneering regional centre for talent development in various fields, including sports.

The state-of-the-art centre, the first of its kind to be established by World Aquatics in the Middle East, will add to the network of the World Aquatics-affiliated facilities all over the world, including France, Hungary, Canada, USA, Thailand and Australia. It will provide high-performing water sports athletes with modern facilities to receive world-class training and acquire modern sports sciences.

The project includes the construction of two swimming pools, a 50-metre-long one for swimming, and a five-metre-deep one for diving. Both pools will be built according to Olympic specifications with 1,000 seats for the public, in order to host competitions and events in the future.

The Centre will also include integrated facilities for training and sports sciences, in addition to comfortable accommodation, restaurants and retail units.

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