B. MADHU GOPAL
Enjoy the season with swimming.
Children want to have fun in the sun during the holidays. Swimming is a fun-filled activity, which helps burn the extra calories while giving respite from the scorching summer heat. Children shun other forms of physical fitness training but most of them jump at the prospect of a splash in the pool. Once they become expert swimmers they can participate in competitions in the district, state, national and international levels or they can even take up careers in diving, which are highly rewarding. There are quite a few pools in the city that offer training in swimming. The Aqua Sports Complex of Greater Visakha Municipal Corporation on the Beach Road and the pool in Dolphin Hotel have been offering training for several years to the general public. The other pools like Waltair Club, Rail Club, Navy, Steel Plant, HPCL and Palm Beach are restricted to members and their families.
``Swimming is the best exercise in water, and a must for everybody. An obese person can skip in water for a 1,000 times, which he cannot on land. While there would be no pressure on his/her ankle or knees, he still loses weight. It provides flexibility to all parts of the body,'' says C. Kishen Chand, a swimming coach, who has been in the field for the last two decades.``While a person who exercises at a gym sweats a lot and feels irritable, the swimmer also perspires but does not experience irritation as the water in the pool wipes of the sweat immediately and gives him a cool feeling. Swimming is beneficial to people with arthritis and for patients who have been advised physiotherapy,'' he says.``We teach freestyle, back floating, sitting dive and standing dive during the 15-day training classes. The 15-day camps will enable the participants to learn the basics of swimming and an additional 10-day training will give them the much needed confidence,'' says R. Sam Sunder, swimming coach of Dolphin Hotel, who has been conducting classes for the past 11 years.The hotel charges Rs.1,000 for children and Rs.1,200 for adults for the 15-day training.Three batches, of one-hour duration each, are conducted from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and again in the evening two batches are conducted from 4 to 6.``Swimming improves overall fitness, stamina, muscle flexibility and gives shape to the body,'' adds Sam.``About hundred people practise at the Aqua Sports Complex to take part in competitions. They participate in district-level competitions. One has to undergo training for three to five years to participate and win in national-level events,'' says M. Sanjeevan Nair, coach and president of the Rashtriya Life Saving Society.``Vizag has the record of winning awards in the junior, sub-junior and senior level swimming competitions for the past six years. The only national-level medal winner in 2005 from AP was M.S. Divya from the city, who had bagged a bronze.''``Apart from this, children and adults enrol in summer camps as a hobby and for exercise. While adults are charged Rs.300 a month, children have to pay half that amount. The corporation is offering free coaching to children of municipal schools during summer,'' he adds.