THE public will get a chance to sample some of the world-class facilities and equipment that national athletes enjoy following the opening of the National Sports Council's (NSC) new complex in Setiawangsa.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who declared the complex open on Saturday, wants the facilities utilised by the community of Setiawangsa.
"This is actually an abandoned project because construction started back in 2007.
"Luckily, the new contractors agreed to resume the project in 2011 and the complex -- which is worth RM13.3 million -- is finally completed.
"It will be used mainly by our backup swimmers and athletes. It is getting a little congested in Bukit Jalil," said Khairy.
The Setiawangsa complex is equipped with an Olympic-size swimming pool, a six-lane running track, a football field and a multipurpose hall that houses nine badminton courts.
"This complex is not only used by the backup athletes, it is also open to the public here in Setiawangsa.
"It is free for the first month and if it enjoys good public response, I will bring this matter up in parliament.
"Of course, NSC will prepare the schedules so that public bookings do not clash with the athletes' training sessions," added Khairy.
Also present at the opening ceremony were Setiawangsa member of parliament Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari, NSC director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong, Youth and Sports Ministry chief secretary Datuk Jamil Salleh and City Hall project implementation and maintenance deputy director-general Datuk Mohd Najib Mohd.