For the 500-odd young swimmers, honing their skills at Aqua Devils Welfare Association swimming pool on the banks of the Krishna, everyday is an all-new experience, for they get an opportunity to swim at the river that flows close by.

The annual summer camp organised by the association is the most sought-after for the parents, as it helps youngsters grow healthier and fitter. “Learning to swim in a river gives the youngsters confidence. It also helps them prepare for bigger challenges. Around 25 swimmers in the age group of seven to 12 have already covered a distance of 750 metres to reach Bhavani Island in the middle of the river and back from Seethanagaram,” said association secretary Atluri Rajendra Prasad here on Friday.

The association has pressed into service five coaches and 20 senior swimmers to take care of the teaching assignment from 4.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.

Proud achievers

“We also have floaters, belts, lifeboats, tyres and a boat as precautionary measures to meet any untoward incident,” said Sampara Rambabu, vice-president of the association.

The association, which is active in promoting water sports in the city, has produced many long-distance swimmers such as Jyothi Surekha, Srisri, Bhayasri, and Saroja, who covered the distance of 1.5 km from Seethanagaram to Durga Ghat. In fact, Jyothi, now an international archer, entered the Limca Book of Records by swimming a distance crossing the 4.5-km distance in 2005.

It has also produced a good number of swimmers who excelled in triathlon and kayaking. “We offer milk, egg and biscuits to swimmers every day,” Mr. Prasad pointed out.

Sridhar International Dental Hospital doctor A. Sridhar Reddy, who accompanies his son regularly to the camp, felt that the Krishna was the best thing that happened to Vijayawada and river swimming helped youngsters quell the fear factor and improved their stamina. “A swimmer behaves more confidently than a non–swimmer,” the dentist observed.

The association conducts a river-crossing competition every year on January 2 and also takes part in activities that involved the Krishna. ‘During pushkarams and natural calamities, our swimmers are there to help people and authorities,” said Mr. Ram Babu.

Aqua Devils at Seethanagaram with around 1,300 members on its roll, is also a place for people to indulge in yoga, beach volleyball, shuttle badminton and other water sports. The camp that began on April 15 will conclude on May 13.

Keywords: summer camp

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