Some 1000 people have already made use of the newly opened Europa (Nuffield) Pool complex since it opened on Friday.
In addition to this, the Government will shortly commence works in order to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. The complex is an existing facility which was owned and operated by the Ministry of Defence until it was transferred to the Gibraltar Government and no provision was then made for specific access and use by people with disabilities.
The pool had been held in reserve as a fall-back option for the Island Games. It was also important to open the facility for community use before schools close on Friday for the summer break. This led to a slight delay to the works to provide an accessible changing room, toilets and a mobile hoist for pool access. This was already planned and is in hand.
A kiosk/cafeteria will also open shortly following a tender process which was conducted by the organisers of the Island Games. This was originally awarded for the period of the Games only but was extended to the whole summer season given that there would be no time for a different operator to come in. This beach concession will be open to Expressions of Interest for next year.
In addition, those attending early on Sunday morning were able to enjoy the Gibraltar Volleyball Association’s test event in preparation for the upcoming Island Games. This has given the general public a taste of what to expect as from the 6th July. The games will enhance the facility with bathers catered for with temporary facilities for the six-day event.
The Minister for Sport, the Hon Steven Linares who has been keeping a close eye on all related projects, said: “The response from the general public has confirmed that the investment made has been a sensible one. Gibraltarians have now been provided with another leisure facility to add the long list of those built or refurbished over the last few years. As Minister for Sport and Leisure it is fantastic to be able to enhance two of my areas of responsibility, leisure and sport, within the same footprint. In addition, our Government is committed to people with disabilities and we have an unprecedented record of improving accessibility throughout Gibraltar. This pool will be no different.”