by Gary Anderson
April 4, 2014 (ISN) – A month before the public opening of the Aquatics Center at the Aberdeen Sports Village, the facility will play host to the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships which get underway tomorrow.
The Championships, which run until April 12, will be the first major international event to be held at the Aquatics Center situated within the Aberdeen Sports Village complex.
More than 7,000 spectators are expected to attend over the eight days of competition, which will see hosts Scotland joined by England, Wales, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand and Malta in the men’s event while Scotland, Canada, England, Wales, South Africa and Singapore take part on the women’s side.
This will be third staging of the event following Manchester in 2002 and Perth in 2006.
“This is a tremendous boost for the sport in Scotland, showcasing some of the world’s best water polo players,” said chairman of Scottish Water Polo and Championship director, Ken Fussell.
“The Aquatics Center is a fantastic center of excellence, and will help hone the impressive local talent to reach their true potential.
“All stakeholders have invested significantly in these Championships and we’re delighted with the fantastic interest from the public to be part of such an exciting event.
“It truly is a milestone in further establishing the sport in the Commonwealth Games program in the future.”
The Championships are being sponsored by BP and Waterfly, and supported by Aberdeen Sports Village, Aberdeen City Council, Homecoming Scotland, Commonwealth Games Scotland, Scottish Swimming and British Swimming.
“Scottish Swimming, as the governing body for all aquatic sports in Scotland, is looking forward to welcoming eight Commonwealth nations to this world-class facility in Aberdeen,” added chief executive of Scottish Swimming, Forbes Dunlop.
“We are delighted that the event has the full endorsement from the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Scotland.
“Commonwealth Games Scotland support also includes investment towards the cost of the event.”
The £22 million ($36 million/€27 million) Aquatics Center has seating for 600 spectators and contains a 50 meter and 25m pool along with full diving facilities including springboards and platforms up to 10m.
The Championships will also act as a test event for the facility and its staff ahead of the official opening to the public on May 5 and help to iron out any initial problems, according to chief executive of the Aberdeen Sports Village, David Beattie.
“Aberdeen Sports Village has worked closely with all partners during each phase of the building process and securing high caliber competitions such as this goes to highlight the capabilities of the Center,” added Beattie.
“The Center will prove to be a fantastic facility for the people of the north east, and we look forward to attracting many more international competitions.”