SOME 500 competitive swimmers, with the youngest five and oldest 58 years old, gave it their all at the 12th annual swim fest at the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) pool in Kelana Jaya.
Jointly organised by Stingray Swimming Club (SSC) and MBPJ, this one-day event saw participants from numerous swimming schools and independent entries nationwide.
“We have a lot more participants this year and the support is overwhelming and encouraging,” said event coordinator Dr Zana Zalinda S. Mohd Ghazali before launching the fest.
Zana, who also represented SSC, added that the event never failed to cultivate team spirit and uncover young talents in competitive swimming.
SSC, which was founded in 1970 by a group of parents, is a non-profit competitive swimming club which has produced many state and national swimmers in Selangor.
“We are always on the lookout for more talents who can maybe one day represent us in competitive swimming,” she said.
Joining her was Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain who said the event was one of the highlights in the council’s calendar.
“We are very committed in ensuring this swimming fest continues year after year for as long as there are interested participants in this sport,” he added.
Mohd Azizi said MBPJ was determined to improve, maintain and provide sports facilities to all residents and hoped the public would be more active.
Recently, MBPJ upgraded the Kelana Jaya stadium in time for the recent SEA Games where the rugby matches were held.
“I am proud that Malaysia bagged a gold for that sport and I hope our sports facilities in the city will help bring out more young local talents,” said the mayor.
During the event, there were also food and game booths which made for a carnival-like atmosphere for both children and adults.
Contestants were split into eight categories – Under-8, 9-10 Years, 11-12 Years, 13-14 Years, 15-17 Years, 18-35 Years and 36-years-old and above, as well as a Family Relay event.
To make it more meaningful, SSC also gave out food vouchers and goodie bags full of daily necessities to 26 children from Rumah Ozanam and five children from Pusat Jagaan Siddhartan.