FINA Elite swimming pool and gym opened, Uganda is bailed out

By Emmanuel Sekago

This is what Uganda has been missing all along; welcoming investors who love to promote sports in the country.

Thanks to the family of Hitesh Usadadiya and  Fahia Hitesh Usadadiya who came up with the vision of constructing a standard swimming pool the first of its kind in Uganda located in Ntinda, now Uganda’s  national team swimmers have got a home to train before heading to international competitions.

                Dr. Donald Rukare, Uganda Olympic Committee President. Courtesy photo.

Swimming is one of the sports disciplines that have carried Uganda’s flag aloft at the international scene just like, rugby, netball among others even though they are yet to break the medal-jinx at the top championships like Olympics and Commonwealth games.

Government funds meant for sports in Uganda,  administrators are busy  misusing them like the funds meant to construct a swimming pool in the eastern part of Uganda at Teso college school in Soroti, up to now ever since the government allocated the funds amounting to Ugx500m, there is nothing concrete to show on ground.

Now the new facility set up is to help in developing, nurturing and grooming talent and uplifting sports in the country, a 13 year old swimmer, who was swimming with Dolphin swimming club, Heer Hitesh Usadadiya inspired his parents to set up a FINA standard pool.

Heer Hitesh Usadadiya, 13 year Heer Hitesh Usadadiya speaking on Tuesday. Courtesy photo.

 Tuesday, December 6th 2022,  will be remembered in the history of Uganda as a new dawn for Uganda’s swimming after a Ugx25m FINA standard pool; Elite Swim & Gym Club located in Ntinda was officially opened.

The Indian-Ugandan citizens, the Hitesh Usadadiya family put a multi-billion facility that was aimed at uplifting swimming in Uganda and according to Fahia Hitesh Usadadiya, the wife to Hitesh Usadadiya, they were motivated by their 13-year old son who proved to them that he has exceptional talent in swimming.

“It’s a family project, my husband and I came out to put up a facility for all Ugandans, the motivation, I can say it came from our son, he has been a swimmer for so long, for five years, we have been training in different pools but we didn’t know that he will be competitive and being interested in taking it to another level,” Fahia Hitesh said.

”So when we  found out that he is really into swimming we didn’t hesitate but  we had to sit as family and have the facility,” she added.

Now no more worries, it’s here and purely sports oriented, it’s like a school, kids come here and train in  morning and evening, we have professional trainers and we believe in them, Uganda is now braced to have more good swimmers competing at the continental and international level because we got what we have been lacking.

Fahia Hitesh Usadadiya, Mother to Heer Hitesh Usadadiya the swimmer. Courtesy photo.

The national swimmer at the under age category, Heer Hitesh Usadadiya who inspired his parents to put up the facility, knowingly or unknowingly bailed out Uganda’s sport but revealed he wasn’t the sole reason as to why the facility was set up, though he was part of the architectural process.

“Thanks to my parents who have always been there for me in developing my talent,  and wanting to see me shine in the sport by putting up this facility, the challenges Uganda swimming federation has been facing have now been fixed,”  Heer Hitesh said.

“But I would say, two to three months before construction started, that’s when my parents had talked to me about the idea of this place, I was really into the game called craft, basically it’s about building and creativity, and so I remember it was a Sunday morning, I asked for the plans, of course, so on one to one scale, I replicated the place and I think that’s really motivated my parents to go on with the project because of how enthusiastic I was,” he added.

Uganda Olympic Committee President, Dr. Donald Rukare applauded the family for putting up the facility that is good for the growth of sports in Uganda.

“We’re happy that people like Mr and Mrs Hitesh Usadadiya set up a facility like this, we believe this is going to help swimming and other sport disciplines, like Gators swimming club is going to benefit a lot, so I thank the family and also ask others and the government to set up such,”  Rukare said.

One of the parents who has been there for her kids Kirabo Namutebi and Tendo Mukalazi  since babies up to now  Namanda Hadija was so honoured that Uganda now has a standard FINA swimming pool, adding that as parents to children who are into swimming they are blessed.

 “We are so honoured to have such a facility amidst us during a time when swimming is a sport that is upcoming and getting recognition in the continent and at the world stage. Recently we got medals in world islamic games, senior swimming championship CANA, so courtesy of this facility, we have a standard starting block which are a must for somebody to be comfortable with when going for competitions. The facility is purely sports-oriented, it has a gym with professional body conditioning coaches, the first of its kind in Uganda. So I ask even other sport disciplines to make use of this facility,” Namanda said.

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