Work has commenced on a new 25-meter swimming pool on Cayman Brac as progress on the island’s national sports center continues.

Bulldozers were excavating the site for the pool, next to the football field and running track on top of the bluff this month.

Harold “Mitchum” Sanford, sports coordinator for the Brac, said it is the latest investment in improving sports facilities for the island’s 1,500 residents.

Once the pool is in place, an estimated $5 million will have been spent on the center over the last few years, including upgrading the soccer pitch and changing rooms to FIFA-accredited standards and the installation of an athletics track at the facility on the Bluff.

“We’ve still got a lot more to do,” said Mr. Sanford, who works from a new office at the center.

Multipurpose hard courts for tennis and basketball and other sports are expected to be installed.

“It was 10 years ago when the field was put down and we have been working on different elements since then. It is an ongoing project,” Mr. Sanford said.

He sees enough interest in sports in the Brac community to justify the expense and says the facility is being well used. Once the hard courts are added, he believes more sporting associations will be able to make use of the center.

The prospect of sports tourism is also a goal for the Brac. In the recent Cayman Airways youth soccer tournament, the island hosted four teams during the group stages.

“We had nearly 700 spectators for one of the games. People are looking for things to do. We have no problem attracting the crowds. Accommodation and transport are the biggest issues,” Mr. Sanford said.

Brac MLA and Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said the investment in the Brac Sports Complex facilitated “sports tourism opportunities” on the island.

“As a result of government’s significant investment, Cayman Brac has been able to host a number of international sporting events which have made a sizeable contribution to local businesses and to the economy,” he said.

“The development of the sports complex goes hand in hand with the airport expansion and the increase in available seats made possible by the introduction of the Saab service. These initiatives are part of government’s overarching plan to diversify and stimulate opportunities on the Brac and increase the island’s ability to attract small to mid-sized tournaments.”

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