Thane: A group of swimmers called Mumbai Sea Swimmers, organised an overnight 12-hour continuous swimming challenge at the Lodha Palava City pools on Saturday and Sunday to provide a platform to individuals to test and build their endurance in long distance swimming. Lodha
Other catergories also included 12-hour relay swim (group of 4) and four-hour solo swim. Swimmers in various age groups across the city participated, which witnessed 30% women participation.
The event is jointly conducted with Rupali Repale Swimming Academy, which is run by Rupali Repale, an Indian open-water long-distance swimmer and triathlete. Repale swam the English Channel in the solo swim category on 15 August 1994, in a time span of 16 hours and 7 minutes, making her the youngest successful swimmer (12-years-old) to cross the English Channel for the year 1994.
Now 40, Repale said, “Such events are very important to give individuals the opportunity to showcase their talent and test their endurance. It is not very easy to get swimming pools for such long hours where people can test their limits and work on improving their swimming skills.
“We also conducted two swimming practice sessions for the participants before attempting the challenge. We plan to conduct this event on annual basis. An event like this should become more regular which will help swimmers to train and challenge themselves to do better,” she added.
One participant, Sudarshan Chari, who participated in the four-hour solo challenge said, “Swimming four hours in a pool instead of open waters, tests the mental ability more compared to the physical ability. If you are able to overcome this, then it’s very easy to participate in open water challenges. Additionally, this is an off season for swimmers, but we got an opportunity to train off season through this event, which was a great experience.”
Co-founder of Mumbai Sea Swimmers, Minesh Babla, said, “Training for the open waters begins and upgrades in the pool. We often surprise ourselves with our abilities. The positive energy of swimming with a group brings out the best in a swimmer.”
Other co-founders of Mumbai Sea Swimmers include Mehul Ved and Susrita Sen who have been instrumental in the planning and execution of the event which gave a platform for its participants to test their swimming endurance.