Graham-Royal, who became principal of the institution in 2014, said fixing the pool will be her next ‘big’ project and said she does not intend to begin the project until she is sure she has all the money to complete it as she does not want to start and not be able to finish. “(I need) at least three quarters of it because it wouldn’t make sense; it means work would have stopped,” she told The Gleaner. Students of the school, who train to be teachers of physical education, must now use a tiny pool in Old Harbour for swimming lessons. “So I have to pay more than $10,000 monthly for them to learn to swim. You’re not a complete PE teacher until you’re able to swim,” Graham-Royal, herself a graduate of the G.C. Foster College, who later studied abroad, said. “When I went to the University of Mainz in Germany to study, I could not graduate until I learned to swim,” she added. Meanwhile, Graham-Royal also noted that the institution as also losing money as there were some interested parties who would have used the facility had it been operational. “Just this morning some students from a university in Canada called. They had a contingent of 50 and wanted to come for the summer,” she said. “So we are missing all of that. We really do need some private sector injection. We can’t do it otherwise,” she concluded. GETTING THE MONEY The state of the swimming pool at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport has been a sore point for decades. Current principal of the institution, Dr Joyce Graham-Royal, said it will cost $91 million to repair the facility, which has never been used since it was built in 1980. In late 2014, Minister of Sport Natalie Neita-Headley had announced that Government would be donating the funds to repair the pool via the Sports Development Foundation. However, Graham-Royal told The Gleaner yesterday that she had since learned that the funds, which had been earmarked for the pool work, had been spent on refurbishing the synthetic track at the institution, which was reopened last October. The track cost $171 million to repair. Graham-Royal said because of the clay soil at the Spanish Town-based sporting college, repairing the track had cost much more than the projected figure. Successive principals over the last few years have threshed around with the idea and as recently as 2008, the estimate to repair the Olympic-sized swimming and diving pools was at $50 million.
Sheephaven SAC were featured on RTE Winning Streak last Saturday night, when the programme gave time to show how National Lottery funds were spent by the Search and Recovery Unit in the past. With a snow capped backdrop of Muckish the images of divers preparing for a simulated search presented the essence of what the Search and Recovery Unit give back to the community on a voluntary basis.The National Lottery funding referred to on Winning Streak was previously used to refurbish two of the club dive boats, which are essential to the Units capability to respond when tasked by the Irish Coastguard. Every cent of fundraising is needed to keep the Unit going, as the divers provide all their own gear to keep the dive boats and air compressors operational.With that in mind the club was delighted to be remembered by the Smith family, who lost a brother in tragic circumstances earlier this year and Sheephaven S&R unit were tasked in recovering him from the water.The family requested that donations in lieu of flowers be made to Sheephaven S&R Unit and last Sunday they presented the resulting significant funds to the Unit (pictured above) – prior to a mandatory training day in Portnablagh – for which everyone involved is very appreciative of.There were 23 Search and Recovery divers present for the training day, led by John Joe Rowland on a fine April morning in Portnablagh harbour. The divers were divided into two swim-line teams, each directed on the surface by snorkelers who guided them through an elaborate 180 degree turn to bring them back to the pier without surfacing.In-water conditions were near perfect, with a little bit of a rise in water temperature – now at 8 degrees Celsius – and very good visibility at well over 10 metres horizontally.In fact the water was so clear the divers could see right across the swim-line and watch the snorkelers on the surface throughout the dive.This activity was preceded on Saturday morning by a boat dive to Black Rock, near Downings, led by Kevin Boylan.Weather conditions and the resulting sea were near perfect for the 30 minute dive, conducted in two sticks. The maximum depth achieved was 20 metres and in-water visibility was excellent at nearly 10 metres horizontally.Finally, just a word of mention for the three Sheephaven divers who successfully completed the practical element of their PADI Tec 40 course in Portroe Quarry, Co. Tipperary on Saturday morning.The redundant quarry has a maximum depth of over 30 metres and allows for such practical work irrespective of weather conditions.On successful completion of the Tec 40 course the divers involved will be qualified to conduct decompression diving to a maximum depth of 40 metres, using oxygen enriched air to accelerate decompression. Well done to all involved. Sheephaven Sub Aqua Club’s work showcased on Winning Streak was last modified: April 24th, 2018 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)