His father, Ravi Parthsarathy, is happy that the boy has used his time productively. If Pranav is reluctant to come out of the sparkling blue waters, eight-year-old Uthara refuses to take the plunge into the pool at Sangam Hotel. She is scared and no amount of cajoling either from the mother or the coach convinces her. Seeing her, another cute little girl wearing a bright new floral print swim suit, cap and goggles, suddenly loses interest. She says she is not in a mood to swim today!
At Hotel J.C.Residency coach L.Sylvester takes reluctant toddlers into the pool. “Every child’s nature is different. When parents are spending so much money, we have to see the children are able to get into the cool pool comfortably,” he says.
Camps are conveniently designed around the schedule of busy parents. Kids are dropped off at the pool after which parents head off for their morning walks. Parents are happy to do that as in many of these camps the depth of the pool follows the prescribed norm and they know their kids will be safe.
The city’s big hotels are cashing in on the heat by keeping their swimming pools full and inviting. With no tourist footfall in this blistering heat, they have opened up their swimming pools for children and adults for the months of April and May. Training camps are many and range between those that last for a fortnight, three weeks or a month. They cost anything upward of Rs.2,000. Some hotels offer attractive discounts to those who enrol for half-yearly or yearly memberships. Some of the camps go the extra mile by offering children something to eat. There are those who coach children with special needs. Each batch accommodates 15 to 20 children.
“We just love it here,” the children scream, splashing high-fives.