Officials at the signing ceremony.

World Aquatics and the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) have announced plans to build a state-of-the-art aquatics sports centre in Bahrain, in partnership with GFH Financial Group and the Bahrain Swimming Federation.

The partnership will see World Aquatics (previously FINA – The International Swimming and Aquatics Federation) establish the Centre of Excellence and regional office for Aquatic Sports Centre at the University of Technology Bahrain (UTB).

The plan also includes new pools capable of hosting events in five of the six World Aquatics sports: swimming, water polo, artistic swimming, diving, and high diving. The sixth sport, open water swimming, is already a popular one with several events held at Bahrain’s beaches.

World Aquatics currently has operating development centres in Thanyapura (Thailand), Dakar (Senegal), Cape Town (South Africa) and Davie (Florida, US).

With this new centre, World Aquatics’ elite athletes will have access to the best training capabilities. These athletes will also receive on-site coaching and educational support through World Aquatics’ Development programmes, said its top official.

“World Aquatics could not have asked for better partners than in Bahrain, as demonstrated by our bold plans for a centre of excellence here that will serve as an example to the world,” remarked World Aquatics President Husain Al Musallam.

“Our high-performance athletes are at their best when they can benefit from the right mix of facilities, coaching and sports science. And we are delighted to include an educational component with the help of the UTB,” he said.

The agreement was signed by World Aquatics and GFH Financial Group at the Bahrain Financial Harbour in the presence of Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports (SCYS) First Deputy Chairman, General Sports Authority (GSA) Chairman and BOC President.