The proposed National Games begins in Bhopal next month, but one of Goa’s top swimmers has fallen ill, thanks to training in the contaminated waters of the Peddem swimming pool. Along with broken tiles and murky waters, Goa’s top swimmers are now left to battle health hazards and two of the State’s top swimmers, Talasha Prabhu and Jerry D’Mello have taken ill after training in contaminated water. One of them has even said they would not recover in time for the Nationals.
With the closure of the swimming pool in Campal, ahead of the proposed National Games, all top swimmers were forced to train at Peddem. Today these swimmers are struggling with health issues.
Jerry has stopped training completely after doctors advised him 15 days rest to recover from a fungal infection of the ear that he developed after training at Peddem.
Jerry, who had earlier bagged medals at Khelo India games early this year, is unable to get into the pool as he is running a fever and is very weak.
The Sports Authority of Goa has admitted that the swimming pool at Peddem is in urgent need of repairs. “Due to rainwater, the pool is completely fungal and when they swim water enters their ears which lead to infections,” said Majid.
The official also added that Talasha had stopped training for the past three days given that she had turned very weak and it was not a good sign just ahead of the championship.
Majid further said that with several swimmers unwell, many have stopped training and some only continue because there is no other alternative. He pointed out that Goa has lost two sure-shot medals.
The Peddem swimming complex was constructed in the early nineties and maintenance was done in the year 2013 ahead of the Lusofonia Games. Despite a personal visit from the sports minister Manohar Ajgaonkar as well as assurances from the Government, the pool continues to be neglected.
A concerned parent remarked that the swimmers make a lot of sacrifices and in return, all they ask from the state is a clean pool with properly filtered water. The parent further said, “Many swimmers now have skin infection and fever, but nobody seems to be bothered.”
The filtration plant is in bad shape and SAG has admitted that the swimming pool is in need of urgent repairs.
SAG Executive director V M Prabhu Desai said, “The pool needs attention. We have asked swimmers to move to Ponda since Peddem (pool) needs to be closed for repairs”. He also pointed out that a lot of money was required for the repair work and the filtration plant being outdated, was creating a lot of problems.