Applying gloss to its already strong reputation as the premier centre for swimming, the Garden City has welcomed to its list a state of the art facility, the Nettakallappa Aquatic Centre, aiming to provide a base for youngsters to nurture their talent while helping people from all walks of life stay healthy and fit.
Bangalore has to its credit a clutch of good swimming pools and several Olympians, making it the hub of swimming activities in the country. The Nettakallappa Aquatic Centre (NAC), developed by the KN Guruswamy Educational and Charitable Trust, off Uttarahalli Main Road in Padmanabhanagar, marks a new beginning.
“The whole idea of Nettakallappa Aquatic Centre is to encourage sports,” says Director of NAC Sujatha Tilak Kumar. “Sports can produce a healthy generation. Besides giving training to young swimmers, the pool is open to public also, including the specially-abled. Later, we would like to give a helping hand to the underprivileged children as well.”
The centre stands in memory of the late K A Nettakallappa who left an indelible impression as a great patron of sports as well as an administrator of vision. Built on 1.5 acres of land, the spacious NAC has a 50-metre eight-lane pool and a 25-metre pool with anti-wave lanes besides a 5x10 metres toddler pool.
The centre, designed by SEARCH Foundation, pioneers in the field of Swimming Education Research and Development, has an anti-skid deck-area and adjacent to the pool is a two-storey building which will have rest rooms for boys and girls as well as a multi-gym.
“The centre has been built keeping training needs as well as competitions in mind. It is useful for toddlers, beginners, youngsters, corporates and people of other age groups. It’s the best swimming facility you can get anywhere. The aquatic centre gives good opportunity to the people in South Bangalore to stay fit and healthy,” says secretary of the Karnataka Swimming Association TD Vijayaraghavan, who is the Consultant to NAC.
The centre is designed to suit the needs of top class swimmers as well. “It’s a self-sufficient pool. It’s good for competitive swimmers too. For the time being we will have a temporary gallery but a permanent gallery will be constructed later. Very few pools have been constructed with FINA (world swimming body) standards in India, NAC is one of them and it can accommodate specially-abled swimmers as well,” said Vijayaraghavan.
With world class infrastructure, floodlights and the provision to fix electronic touch pads, NAC will be looking forward to hosting State and National-level events in the near future. The professional touch exhibited in constructing the facility has been extended to other areas as well, with top coaches, trainers and life guards employed to ensure that the swimmers enjoy every bit of their time spent at the NAC.
“All our coaches and life guards are Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certified and senior coaches have certificates from American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA),” said Shreesh Reddy, a former national champion who is the manager at NAC.
ASCA-certified M S Bushan, former swimmer and water polo player, is the head coach of NAC while two senior coaches M S Bhaskar and Shrishail Matapathi will assist him. Eight junior coach-cum-life guards have also been roped in.
“It’s a challenge for me to produce top class swimmers. We already have some national champions and I hope more will come in the future,” said Bushan.
Bushan has his plans ready to unearth talent, at the summer camp beginning next month. “I am sure we will be able to get good swimmers who will make the state and the country proud,” said Bushan.
Besides swimming, the NAC will also promote water polo and aquathlon (two-stage competition involving swimming followed by running). “We have formed a boys’ water polo team and soon, the girls team will also be ready,” said Bushan.
The NAC has already started functioning with a total of 170 competitive and non-competitive swimmers going through their routine every day. “The pool is awesome. The water is really clean and it has all the modern facilities,” said Malavika V, the Junior National champion in 50M, 200M and 400M freestyle events.
Indeed, for those keen to make a career in the sport, NAC offers the best of facilities. “Such centres will help develop the sport and more talent will come up. We can expect very good results from NAC in the future,” stated Vijayaraghavan.
Elaborating on NAC’s future plans, Sujatha said it could spread its wings to other parts of the state as well.
“We also have plans to encourage sports in other parts of Karnataka. So we are looking forward to having more centres in other districts in the future,” she said.
The training programme at the NAC has been designed to suit the requirements of different categories of people. There will be regular batches from 5.30 am to 12.00 noon and from 3.00 pm to 9.00 pm every day except on Wednesdays. There are separate batches for couples and families. There will be two summer camps of one month duration, beginning from April 4. The first batch will be from April 4 to 30 and the second from May 2 to 28.
The summer camps will be open to all age groups and will have separate batches for boys and girls and men and women. There will also be stroke correction classes for children. For registration and details, contact, phone number 080 26393977 and 40976591. Interested can also mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.