KUCHING: The 23rd edition of the Kuching Age Group Swimming Championship this year will see a bigger participation when compared to last year.
Organising chairman Anthony Kong said yesterday that 208 swimmers from 32 primary and secondary schools in the First Division with 1,000 entries for the 150 events in the two-day competition starting next Saturday (Feb 19) at the Waterpark in Stutong, BDC.
“As far as I am concerned as the organising chairman of the event for the past four years, this is a new record in participation. Last year, we had more than 180 swimmers from 25 schools,” he said yesterday.
Noting that this excellent response augurs well for swimming in Kuching and the state, he said: “There is a marked increase in participation every year and it shows that swimming in Kuching is very much alive and many schools are interested in swimming.”
According to him, the competition would be very keen in all five categories namely Group I (age 16-17), Group II (age 14-15), Group III (age 12-13), Group IV (age 9-11) and Group V (age 8 and below).
“There are a few state swimmers in their respective age groups who are expected to do well and we are also keeping an eye on the progress of other swimmers,” he added.
Kong said the swimming championship was a platform to kick-start swimming activities for the new year and to gauge the progress of the swimmers who had competed in last year’s event.
“This serves as a prelude to the Sarawak Age Group Swimming Championship in Sibu from Feb 25-27, MSSM Swimming Championship from Mar 15-19 in Melaka, and the National Age Group Swimming Championship also in Melaka in early April,” he said.
It was understood that Sarawak Age Group would be used to select state representatives to Sukma at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur in June.
Those doing well in the national competitions will move on to the South East Asia Age Group Swimming Championship in June.
“We are also very grateful to the Sarawak State Sports Council for giving us some financial support to organise the event. This is the first time that we are getting financial support from the council,” said Kong.
Kuching Amateur Swimming Association 2010 president Datuk Wee Hong Seng will close the event on Feb 20.