KUCHING: The 28th Kuching Age Group Swimming Championship, to be held at the Sarawak Aquatics Centre in Petra Jaya from Jan 21-22, has attracted 296 swimmers from 23 primary schools, 19 secondary schools and two kindergartens in Kuching and Samarahan.
One thousand five hundred and ninety-seven entries were received for the 152 events to be contested over the weekend.
Meet director Anthony Kong is encouraged by the response especially from the younger age groups.
“There is now a lot of new blood and a bigger number of participants in the younger age groups. Hopefully, we can see more potential swimmers coming through this group who can be groomed for higher level competitions,” he said yesterday.
Kong, also Amateur Swimming Association of Sarawak (Asas) secretary, observed that more schools especially the private schools are now making swimming as a co-curriculum activity and this augers well for the future of swimming in the Kuching, Samarahan and the state as a whole.
He also noticed that more associations, clubs, academies and individuals are conducting training in centres such the Sarawak Aquatics Centre, Kelab Golf Sarawak, The Sarawak Club, Stampark pool, MBKS pool and the Centre of Excellence for Aquatics at the Youth and Sports Complex.
“I am encouraging all schools to make swimming a co-curriculum activity/subject so that we can have a bigger pool of swimmers.
“This is also the platform for the swimmers to improve their personal bests and qualify for the Sarawak Age Group Swimming Championship which will be either hosted by Sibu or Samarahan in mid-February,” added Kong.
“Definitely new records will be created and the swimmers are eagerly looking forward to do well for their schools and set better times.
“It should be a good meet judging from the performances of the swimmers in the Kota Samarahan Primary and Secondary Schools Swimming Championship and the Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Wong Soon Kai Inter Club Swimming Challenge last year,” said Kong.
Meanwhile, Lodge Secondary School are lining up 27 swimmers including 11 girls in their bid to capture the overall title and the second biggest team are St Joseph Private School with 23 swimmers while SMK Kuching has 17 swimmers.
The primary school competition shall have Tunku Putra fielding the biggest number of 36 swimmers, followed by SJK Chung No.4 with 26 and SJK Chung Hua No. 2 with 19.
The age groups are Group 1 (15-17 years), Group 2 (13-14), Group 3 (11-12), Group 4 (9-10) and Group 5 (8 and under).
Events for boys and girls include freestyle (50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m), backstroke (50m, 100m, 200m), breaststroke (50m, 100, 200m), butterfly (50m, 100, 200m), 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley, 4x50m freestyle relay and 4×50 medley relay.