Mandar Divse(10km Men) and Nikita Prabhu(10km Women) win the coveted “Swimmathon 2015”, gear up to represent India in FINA World Championship 2015
Almost 600 swimmers from across the country participated in India’s most awaited open water swimming event, Swimmathon 2015. Athletes in various categories battled each other and nature, in the open sea, swimming a distance of 10 km, 5 km, 1 km and 250m Dream Swim. This prestigious race organised by premier sports management firm Square Off Sports Pvt. Ltd. This race was conducted under the aegis of Goa Swimming Association & has assumed even greater significance, as a platform for identifying and nurturing the most promising Indian talent, with Swimming Federation of India recognizing Swimmathon 2015 as the Indian Selection Trial for FINA World Championship. Winners of Swimmathon 2015; Mandar Divse (10km Men), Nikita Prabhu(10km Women), Sajan Prakash (5km Men), Pooja Kumre (5km Women) will be representing India a FINA World Championship. This race was also officially supported by Goa Tourism. Lending added credibility to the event, Mr. Pradeep Kumar currently serving as the Indian National Coach, was roped in as the Official Race Director of Swimmathon 2015.
Mr. Ashish Agarwal, Managing Director – Square Off Sports said, “As fitness becomes a way of life, an increasing number of people are looking for opportunities for adventure and testing their own limits. Competitions such as these not only provide an opportunity for excellent talent from across Goa as well as the nation to be identified, but also an opportunity for those seeking adventure, to experience the thrill of braving and conquering the elements. We would like to see Square Off Sports position itself to be the change agent – encouraging the youth of the country to take up sports as their ‘way of life’. We believe Square Off Sports is a movement to reach out to the young and share the belief that achievements are a possibility and there are endless opportunities. Open Water Swimming is the newest Olympic sport and given the right attention, we are confident that India can excel at the international level. We would like to thank Goa Tourism, Goa Swimming Association & Swimming Federation of India for helping us put up such a good show and also our sponsors Black Panther, LIC of India, Bank Of India, Dena Bank among others for their association.”
Adding dash of excitement and athletic prowess to the event, the race saw participation from eminent national Swimmers like Virdhawal Khade – One of India’s most accomplished swimmer, Arjuna Awardee, and Asian Games medallist; Sajan Prakash – known as Indian Michael Phelps who created history by winning 6 golds and 3 silver medals in Indian National Games; Mandar Divase – India’s best long distance swimmer and a gold medallist in South Asian Federation (SAF) Games & Talasha Prabhu – Goa’s Ace Swimmer who was also in the Indian squad in the Common Wealth Games New Delhi in 2010. With the support of over__ participant and over 10,000 viewers/people, event saw its biggest success this year and promised to come up with even bigger level in coming years.
On the association between Swimming Federation of India and Swimmathon 2015, Mr. Pradeep Kumar, National Coach, Swimming Federation of India who was also the Official Race Director of Swimmathon 2015 said, “We are happy to promote ‘Swimmathon 2015’ in association with Square Off Sports, which has deep expertise in conducting events of this nature. I have seen this property evolve over the last few years. Till last season, this event was hosted in Mumbai at Gateway of India. This year it is hosted in Goa and has transpired into a bigger and better property due to the consistent efforts that the Square Off Sports team has put in nurturing this event. ‘Swimmathon 2015’ is a stepping stone for the Indian swimmers to become an International level sports personality and represent India at FINA World Championship 2015, Russia. I am positive that ‘Swimmathon 2015’ is a great initiative that will help Swimming emerge as a serious sport in India and provide opportunities to all the aspiring swimmers. Swimming Federation Of India hopes to tie up with Square Off Sports and make this an annual event and together facilitate more such platforms to produce swimming / sporting icons in our country”
Promoted by Square Off Sports, Swimmathon 2015 saw eminent personalities like Mr. Nikhil Desai, Managing Director – Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), Mr. Pradeep Kumar, Indian National Coach, Swimming Federation of India (SFI), Mr. Ashish Agarwal – Square Off Sports, Mr. Vinay Borkar– Goa Swimming Association, Mr. Sawinder Pal Singh Vilkhoo – LIC of India, Mr. Yogesh Lakhani –Bright Outdoors, Mr. D Raju – Bank Of India & Mr. Joseph Reddy – Hiranandani Group.
One of India’s most accomplished and celebrated swimmer, Arjuna Awardee, and Asian Games medallist, Mr. Virdhawal Khade said, “Today’s generation of swimmers are really lucky where they are getting platforms like “Swimmathon 2015” to showcase their talent. You can compete with International Swimmers and most importantly you can proudly represent India in FINA World Championship 2015. Swimming is not only a sport but it also helps you to keep your heart healthy, stress out your body, build muscle strength and helps you to maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and healthy mind.”
The great atmosphere at the race venue was in part facilitated by the measures taken by Square Off Sports to ensure a safe event. To enhance the safety of participants, the organisers had engaged services from Drishti Emergency Services, the largest professional run Lifeguard service having extensive experience in disaster management planning & consultancy. Swimming Experts were accompanying each category along with lifeguards on hi-speed Gemini boats & jet-skis. Manipal Hospital also set up their complete medical and ambulance facilities on site and complete first aid & medical facilities on accompanying boats. With precautions in place, the event concluded on a happy note.