India’s oldest open sea swimming competition is back with a view to promote swimming as a sport and encourage more participation.
Mumbai, (AJAY RAWAL) :- India’s oldest and most popular event on the ocean swim calendar – Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon 2013 – is all set for its second edition on February 10, 2013.
“Square Off Mumbai Swimathon 2013” – Sunk Rock to Gateway of India, is promoted by Square Off under the auspices of the Maharashtra State Amateur Aquatic Association (MSAAA). The race attempts to promote swimming as a sport and encourage more participants to take up open sea swimming as their sport of choice. The 2nd edition introduces a new category “Sub-Juniors – 10 to 12 yrs” to give a platform to young swimmers and ensure that they have enough experience and aim to compete in the 2020 Olympics.
This open sea swimming race will start from Sunk Rock, popularly known as ‘Light House’ to Gateway of India, which will cover distance of about 5 kms (3.5 nautical miles). Last year, the race attracted around 500 participants from all over Maharashtra across 14 categories including two physically challenged groups. With the historic Gateway of India and majestic Taj Mahal hotel in the backdrop, the Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon 2013 aims to add to the charm, joy and pride of Mumbai.
The first race of this prestigious event was conducted from Sunk Rock Light House to Gateway of India on Sunday, 14th December 1947. The winners of this race were Pam Ballantyna (Women) (55 mins 23.5 secs) and Isaac Mansoor (Maccabi club) (Men) (45 mins)
This year Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon 2013 is supported by GIANTS International, a leading NGO with a view to promote “Save the Girl Child “campaign. The race day will witness some eminent personalities from the society like Nana Chaudasma, former sheriff of Mumbai and world chairman of GIANTS International, Shaina N.C, Executive World Chairperson, GIANTS International and a leading fashion designer and the new youth sensation – talented actor Varun Dhawan will be the chief guest for the competition.
Around 600 swimmers in 14 categories will participate in the competition. A 2 km special category race for the age group of 10-12 years will be introduced this year along with two separate categories for physically-challenged swimmers.
“It feels great to be associated with major open sea swimming competition like “Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon 2013.” I’m very thankful to Square Off for taking this initiative and give Indian swimmers a perfect platform to showcase their talent. GIANTS International supports various national projects and we would like this competition to focus the ‘Girl Child’ as this competition has good participation of girl swimmers,” said Shaina N.C. Shaina is confident that open sea swimming is India’s best chance to earn a medal in upcoming Olympics.
The star attraction of Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon 2013 will be to watch top swimmers in action like Padmashree and Arjun Awardee, Taranath Shenoy, National Champion Kunal Hendre and first ever Arjun awardee in swimming Avinash Sarang, to name few.
Open water swimming is the newest sport included in 2008 Beijing Olympics. Open water swimming presents a unique set of challenges to swimmers. There are no lane lines, walls, or starting blocks to dictate what it takes to win. The unpredictable natural conditions often play a deciding role in determining the winner of an Open water swimming race. “We are pleased to host this competition in association with the expertise of Square Off and look forward for Maharashtra government’s continued support to encourage this sport, which can surely add a medal to India in Olympics,” said Kishor Vaidya, secretary, MSAAA.
Sachin Girishkumar, Co-Founder Square Off, said, “We at Square Off believe that the Indian youth have exceptional potential which can be leveraged by giving the right platform. We are proud to promote open sea swimming in India in association with MSAAA and Swimming Federation of India. It is the newest Olympic sport and given the right attention, we are confident that India can excel at the international level.”