Sports Management Company Square Off announces the Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon 2014 on January 5, 2014

Sports Management Company Square Off announces the
Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon 2014
on January 5, 2014

Real athletes don’t just run. They Swim

India’s most celebrated swimmer – Virdhawal Khade is Brand Ambassador.

Mumbai’s premier swimming event, The Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon (SOMS) 2014 will take place on Sunday, January 5, 2014. Athletes race against each other and the elements in the open sea, swimming a distance of 5 km from Sunk Rock to Gateway of India, in this race organized by sports management firm Square Off in association with Maharashtra State Amateur Aquatic Association (MSAAA) and Indian Sports Academy (ISA).

The Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon is one of the oldest and most established races on the Indian Sea Swimming Calendar. It was launched in December 1947 and over the last 54 years has seen a steady increase in participation. The 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai led to the event being brought to an excruciating halt. With Square Off’s support the contest was once again revived in 2013 and had close to 700 participants, from across India and across categories, in its last edition. This year promises an even better turnout.

Adding another dash of excitement to the event, Virdhawal Khade India’s most accomplished and celebrated swimmer, has been roped in as Brand Ambassador for the Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon 2014. An Arjuna Awardee, Vir holds the distinction of being the youngest Indian to qualify for the Olympics. A prolific national record holder, and definitely the fastest Indian of all time in water, Vir has consistently delighted record keepers with his performances at national and international events  especially with his historic wins at the Youth Commonwealth and Asian Games. With Vir’s eyes firmly fixed on the Commonwealth and Asian Games next year and the Olympics the year after, organizers are delighted that the poster boy for Indian swimming has made time to encourage swimmers and promote the sport further.

Says Sachin Girishkumar, COO, Square Off, “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 the state to be identified, but also an opportunity for those seeking adventure, to experience the thrill of braving and conquering the elements.”

Open Sea Swimming has also now been included in the list of sporting events for the Olympics. Square Off Mumbai Swimmathon 2014, aims to encourage more participants to take up open-sea swimming. With 9 categories of participants including one for differently abled athletes, organisers expect a significant interest in the event.

Adds Ashish Agarwal, CEO, Square Off “At Square Off, we believe that the Indian youth have exceptional talent and potential that can be encouraged by giving them the right platform. Despite being the newest Olympic Sport, this sport has not got due recognition. We are proud to promote Open Sea Swimming in India in association with MSAAA and Swimming Federation of India. It is the newest Olympic sport and given the right attention, we are confident that India can excel at the international level”

Open water swimming poses unique challenges to the swimmers as there are no lane lines, walls or starting blocks to dictate what it takes to win. Unpredictable natural conditions often play a deciding role in determining the winner of such a race.

“We are happy to host this event in association with Square Off, which has deep expertise in conducting events of this nature. Square Off has provided support for this event over the past two years and we are happy that they continue to encourage such events. It is our hope that by facilitating such platforms we can develop more swimming /sporting icons in our country”, Said Mr. Kishore Vaidya, secretary, MSAAA.

To enhance the safety of participants, the organisers have engaged medical and ambulance facilities on site and first aid facilities on accompanying boats. For cases where immediate attention might be needed, they have arranged for the involvement of coast guards with hi-speed Gemini boats, swimming experts to accompany each category, and availability of jet-skis.

The categories for competition are as follows:

Group I Boys / Girls – Between the Ages of 13 to 16

Group II Men / Women – Between the Ages of 17 to 35

Group III Men/ Women – Above the Age of 35

Group IV Handicapped

Special Group V Boys / Girls – Between the Ages of 10 to 12