‘Swimming needs urgent revival’

Karachi event organisers rue lack of incentives for local participants.

Natasha Raheel August 23, 2011

KARACHI: The Karachi Swimming Championship will be held next month in order to revive the sport in the city, according to its organising committee that consists of prominent swimmers.

Former Sindh champion Javed Taqi, with the support of other swimmers, will hold the event on September 18, aiming to attract participation from every corner of the city, becoming the first event of its kind to offer prize-money to the participants.

“The event is the Indian Premier League of all competitions held in the province,” Taqi told The Express Tribune. “It’s a step up from the normal events. We’re not affiliated with the Sindh Swimming Association (SSA) but are organising an independent venture. The SSA holds only two events per year but we felt that Karachi deserved more events since there’s a lot of talent here.”

Taqi added that swimming could only be promoted through independent leagues and regular competitions where athletes could get something in return. He pointed out that the tournaments held by the SSA failed to give incentives to the athletes other than a ranking at the provincial level. He said that many talented swimmers from well-off families tended to avoid the SSA events due to lack of motivation but they continue with the sport at club level privately.

Taqi, meanwhile, confirmed that the championship not only offers a Rs60,000 prize-money, but a place in the Dubai inter-club championship for the group winners as well.

The championship will consist of 50metre, 100metre and 200metre events in all four styles as well as a 200metre individual medley.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th,  2011.


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