Making a Splash: Aquatic Center is competition-ready for the upcoming SEA Games

October 30, 2019



Gabrielle De La Cruz



Like the Athletic Stadium that was up and running 50 days before the SEA Games, New Clark City’s Aquatic Center was teeming with activity on our visit. From architectural drawings to the landmark it has become, the Aquatic Center is raring to host the SEA Games: the pools are now filled with water and the rooms and halls furnished. 

From the entrance hallway, the 3-meter-deep, 50 x 25 meters, 10-lane competition pool welcomed us with newly installed pool dividers. “People say that they haven’t seen this type of fast pool here in the country, that they only see something like this on a global stage,” shares MTD president Patrick Nicholas David. 

A view of the competition pool coming from the main entrance of the Aquatic Center.

Beside the competition pool is the 25 x 20 meters, 5-meter-deep diving pool that boasts a rhythm of five diving platforms, with cascading waters as added aesthetic. Behind the diving pool is the 2-meter-deep, 8-lane training pool with PVC membrane and brand new positioned wave eaters.

All pools stirred away from the usual tile-made provisions and were lined up with hot-steel siding and designed with PVC linings. 

SEE EARLIER IMAGES: 33 days before turnover: Aquatic Center 90% complete

Every equipment inside the Aquatic Center is high-end, with products from the global brands Daktronics, Omega Swiss, and Swiss Timing. “It would be shameful if you put a 30-year international equipment,” states MTD President David. In exchange for flipcharts, 10 lap-timers are provided for each of the 10 lanes of the competition pool. The lap-timers were first used in Korea for the world championships, making the Philippines the second country to use it globally. Touchpads will also be provided for the jury, making scoring systems easier and more precise for swimming events. An underwater sound system is also prepared for any swimming event that may require it. 

A view from one of the diving platforms in the Aquatic Center.

Adjacent to the bleachers is a dryland training area on the ground floor. Inside, athletes can train and warm-up using a foam diving area, trampolines, and stretch equipment. Towards the second level of the Aquatic Center, 2000 seats are ready for spectators. The VIP lounge above is now fully furnished and air-condition tested. 

Hallways in the second level of New Clark City’s Athletic Stadium.

Both BCDA president Vince Dizon and MTD president Nikko David shared how fulfilled they are in seeing their hopes of building a competitive Aquatic Center actually come true. “Our goal was to really build a world-class facility”, shares Dizon. “With this quality, it’s not just the run of a mill, squares, boxes, circles – it’s really a work of art. The technology’s up to par with the best in the world, everybody’s happy,  the athletes, all the visitors,” adds David. 

RELATED ARTICLE: A Glimpse at the Future of New Clark City with BCDA President Vince Dizon

An aerial view of the new and complete Aquatic Center.

READ MORE: Athletic Stadium 100% complete 50 days before the SEA Games

Photographed by Ed Simon

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