By: Ruth Sharpe
AFTER THREE years of construction, at a cost of 12 million euros, the Complexo Desportivo de Lagos, Lagos Sports Centre, officially opened to the public on April 21.
Lagos Câmara President, Júlio Barroso, and Civil Governor, António Pina, were both present at the ceremony which attracted thousands of Lagos residents, eager to see the new facilities.
At 4pm, the Banda Filarmónica de Lagos began playing outside the centre to the amassing crowds. The 1,200 seats inside quickly filled before Barroso and Pina began the official opening.
Barroso expressed his joy at the completion of the project, saying “the dream has become a reality. We have now created excellent conditions for the practice of sport”.
Pina, who was representing Prime Minister, José Sócrates, said that, “Lagos needed this facility”. He also predicted that the centre would ease pressure on local health authorities as more people would be taking part in sport and therefore staying healthier.
The complex is made up of a multi-purpose pavilion and swimming area with three pools. The main pool measures 25 by 17 metres and can hold eight tracks and will also be used for water polo and synchronized swimming. The two other pools measure 17 by 9 metres and main uses will be for recreational use, hydro gymnastics, hydrotherapy and for infants.
Those in attendance were treated to a water polo and synchronized swimming demonstration before the action moved to the multi-purpose pavilion where several Algarve clubs took part in a friendly gymnastics competition.
The pavilion is expected to become the training venue for many local sports teams. A 400 sqm gymnasium will be available and numerous exercise classes are scheduled to begin over the coming months.
All the facilities have been built with the necessary dimensions to host international competitions, and include professional first aid posts and sports treatment facilities, as well as a press area.
The inauguration celebrations have been taking place all week with the final event, a swimming gala, scheduled for Saturday, April 28. This will be presented by Portuguese celebrity, Herman José, with the objective of honouring local athletes, trainers and clubs that have achieved success on a local, national and international level.
The sports centre is located on the east side of Lagos, next to the municipal stadium. A footpath is planned to be constructed that will connect the centre to the pedestrian walkway on the Avenida dos Descobrimentos. The centre will be open for public use on May 2.
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