Youngsters are taking to swimming in a big way with a 500-strong contingent taking part in the CBSE North Zone II Swimming Championship
Swimming as a sport has caught the fancy of youngsters in the state as was evident from the increasing number of participants noticed in the CBSE North Zone-II Swimming Championship held at local CT Public School, where as many as 500 swimming enthusiasts from about 60 schools of Punjab and Haryana participated.
POLICE DAV ALL THE WAY The Police DAV School bagged the trophy for the second time, as it had earlier won the North Zone trophy in 2008 besides winning the title of overall CBSE Nationals last year.
These 44 swimmers of Police DAV School bagged 86 medals in all at the event with overall trophies for under-19 boys and under-14 girls and runners-up in under-14 boys, under-12 girls and under-16 girls. Aman Ghai, under-19 player and a student of Class XI, bagged the best swimmer trophy. Out of the 44 swimmers representing the school in more than 35 events in different age groups, 37 are going for nationals.
INTEREST IN SWIMMING MOUNTS Where nearly 200 students used to participate in the north zone competition earlier, now their number had risen to above 500. Said Aman Ghai, the best swimmer of this event who won seven medals in the event and had earlier also won gold in National School Games 2008 in 50m, 100m free style and butterfly said, “I am participating since many years and have witnessed a drastic change in the number of students participating in swimming. It's getting a hype day by day and the pools in the state have been increased as many schools have now started providing the facility“.
PUNJAB NEEDS TO BUILD UP Dinesh Rajoria, Swimming Coach, National Police Academy, Hyderabad, said, “Growing awareness amongst parents has brought about the major change. But Punjab still needs to compete with other state champs as they lag behind because of lack of knowledge, coaches and facilities. The players from the South zone are much better than Punjab.“
Swimmer Deshdeep Singh, sub-junior national level player, said, “We lack in facilities in the school for sure. Our state still does not have many indoor pools, which restricts us to practice only in summers.“
Arpanjeet Kaur, u-19 swimmer from Golden Earth Global School, Sangrur, said, “When we go for nationals, we find students from the South to be stronger in approach than us.
For that, the swimming sport should be introduced in every school so that the interested can take it as a hobby.“
“The coach must have ample knowledge about the diet, strokes and timings. We train our kids to make them reach the nationals. For that matter, Punjab needs more knowledgeable and educated coaches,“ Punjab Police Coach Lakhvir Singh.
The grading system in schools with separate grades for sports and games has also hyped the craze of swimming among teenagers these days. The media is also playing a role to boost it.“ Mahinder Palcoach, Police DAV School
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