Friday, September 03, 2010
Gangtok, Sept. 2: Water sport is fast catching up in Sikkim and the organisers of a swimming competition this month are expecting more than the usual figure of 100 participants for their meet that will have 46 events.
The 7th Sikkim State Swimming Meet will be held on September 25 and 26 at the Tashi Namgyal Academy pool. Established in 1987, the swimming pool at TNA is the oldest in the state.
It was the only pool in Sikkim till Nim Valley, a private educational institute based at Nimtar in East district, set up its own pool four years ago.
“Swimmers from all over Sikkim will be participating in the meet. We have issued an open invitation to all. We are expecting participants from institutions like Palzor Namgyal Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Rongey School and West Point School which had participated in the summer camp organised by us in May,” M.K. Subba, the general secretary of the Sikkim Amateur Swimming Association (SASA) that is organising the meet told reporters today.
Subba said 100 swimmers used to participate on an average during the annual meets organised in the past. “This time we have 46 events for all age groups.”
This time five promotional events have also been listed by the SASA.
“We are organising the promotional events as an encouragement drive to bring people to the pool. These events may not follow any guidelines and rules of the meet,” said SASA technical director P. Chakraborty.
While admitting that swimming has not really been taken up as a sport in Sikkim, the SASA general secretary said lack of facilities and infrastructure was responsible for this. It is difficult to have an easily accessible swimming pool in a hilly state, he added.
“People here do enjoy swimming in rivers and streams but as a regular exercise or a sport, it is not much seen in Sikkim. We have been trying to promote swimming by organising camps for schools. We will also submit a proposal to the state government to open a pool in Gangtok under the SASA where people can learn swimming,” said Subba.
Presently, swimming in Gangtok is limited to streams like Rani khola and a commercial pool at Smileland, Marchak, 14km away.
The TNA pool is restricted only to its students. The school, however, allows SASA members to practise and conduct events and training camps.