National Pool access a ‘free for all’ as security procedures ignored

Access to the National Pool Complex in Msida is unrestricted as measures designed to allow members-only access are consistently ignored, raising security concerns given the pool is frequented by children.

Turnstile gates installed at the complex ahead of last May’s Games of the Small States of Europe are consistently out of order and unsupervised, allowing anyone to stroll into the complex, its changing rooms, and showers, including those for young children.

Following a visit to the complex, currently managed by national sports agency SportMalta, The Shift confirmed claims by sources who raised concerns over the lack of security.

They also claimed receptionists at the complex are consistently absent from their posts, allowing completely unsupervised access in and out of the complex.

The sources said the turnstile gates were installed ahead of the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE), claiming “they are never on”, leading to concerns “as a lot of children frequent the pool”.

“One can practically go straight into the changing rooms and showers unnoticed and unchallenged,” they said.

Following registration at the complex, members were promised “a new access card to be used with the turnstiles, but all we got was a cheaply laminated piece of paper.”

Non-functional security measures mean anyone can stroll into the complex, its showers and changing rooms, including those for young children.

Membership fees for use of the National Pool Complex currently cost around €15 per month for yearly members or €12 for a single two-hour session. Members are requested to present a membership card at the turnstile leading into the pool deck, but no such checks were present upon The Shift’s visit, allowing free access.

The complex at Tal-Qroqq, built in 1993, saw minor upgrades ahead of last May’s Small Nations Games hosted by Malta.

The complex had to be used instead of the Cottonera Sports Complex pool. Its construction missed its May deadline, being finally inaugurated this month at a cost of €14 million – €6 million over budget.

The indoor pool at the Cottonera Sports Complex was the fourth project to have missed its completion deadline for the games.

Last May, The Shift reported on an incomplete €16 million pool in Victoria, Gozo, a €3 million tennis complex in Pembroke and a €9 million indoor squash and weightlifting complex in Marsa all still under construction.

Earlier this month, The Shift also reported how SportMalta’s Board Chairman, Andrew Decelis, resigned just 12 months after taking the helm. SportMalta officials and CEO Mark Cutajar have remained silent on the reason for his resignation or who will take his place.

Government sources who spoke to The Shift last May said there were tensions between Cutajar and Sports Minister Clifton Grima over the management of the games and the related projects. Cutajar’s management was described as “erratic and confrontational”.

                           

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2 Comments
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Francis Said
Francis Said
4 months ago

Basic management and SECURITY have been reduced due to internal conflicts.
Well done to all concerned.

makjavel
makjavel
4 months ago

But all the employees are probably protected tesserati. But genuine persons who need a job and are experienced are not even remotely considered. Such is corruption and the risks it brings to our children.

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