THE Second Selangor Novice Swim Meet continues to play a pivotal role in helping young swimmers gear up for high-level competitions.
The recent meet was organised by Shah Alam based Anakair Swimming Club, an affiliate of the Selangor Amateur Swimming Association (PRAS), with support from Low Yat Group for the second year as well as the Shah Alam City Council.
From the home team's Pade Supersharkz Swim School with more than 300 swimmers, to the six swimmers from Splashtastic Swim School, the meet saw a total of 24 affiliates represented.
Organising committee chairman Rozilawati Johari from the Anakair Swimming Club said the meet was aimed at giving beginners below 12 years a chance to acquire competitive exposure.
“The meet was created for novice swimmers to compete on a level playing field.
“We also want them to gain exposure to the rules and regulations of a meet so when they go on to their next competition, they will at least have an idea how a competition is run,” she said.
“We looked at the best times to see who can qualify, and those who have won the top three in the Age Group Championship are not allowed to compete.
“With the 25m pool and shorter race distances, the meet is essentially a stepping stone for them before moving to a higher tier,” Rozilawati added.
Sixty events were held for the eight core categories – freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly for 25m and 50m distances as well as a 4x25m freestyle relay and a 4x25m medley relay.
This year’s meet saw an increase of from 600 under-12 swimmers last year to almost one thousand swimmers over two days at the Darul Ehsan Aquatic Centre in Shah Alam this year.
“It is almost too many, but it is a ‘good problem’ to have for our development programme,” said Selangor state team coach Marilyn Chua.
She said the long-standing Selangor Age Group Championships used to be the only state meet where all affiliate clubs competed.
“But the skill level of competitors varied too much between the elite and the first timers so PRAS in 2016 decided to split the competitors to give an opportunity to the real beginners who are only getting started,” she explained.
Low Yat Group sales and marketing manager Jason Hoh, who presented the prizes to the Under-8 50m Short Course backstroke category winners, noted the benefits of sports for the younger generation in this day and age.
“We always believe that the children are our future and we try to promote a healthy living even in our developments like in Bandar Tasik Puteri, Rawang. And we see what PRAS is trying to achieve is also in line with our beliefs.
“We recently completed a clubhouse at one of our properties and we saw that from loitering around doing nothing, the youngsters were all there doing something constructive with their lives.
“We see this as a great opportunity to give back to the community and connect with the younger generation and we are very proud to be back for the second year.