Friday, March 27, 2009

2nd Olango Challenge set April 18

By Jonas Panerio
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 12:59:00 03/26/2009

IN their effort to improve the living conditions on the island of Olango on the eastern side of Cebu, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) in cooperation with the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association (PASA) will host the 2nd Olango Challenge on April 18.

The 6.4-kilometer open water swimfest will start at the Pacific Cebu Resort and end at the beachfront of the Tambuli Beach Resort. The fund-raising event is expected to attract more than 80 of the country's long distance swimmers along with some amateurs as well. At stake is P15,000 each for the winner in the men's and women's open. The runners-up will receive P10,000 and P5,000 each.

The event was launched yesterday at the Casino Espanol, which was attended by Antonio Aboitiz of the PBSP, Lex Reyes of PASA and Rudy Villanobos of the Lapu-Lapu City government. According to Aboitiz, the event aims to raise funds for the construction of additional classrooms in the Candagsao Elementary School on Olango Island.

The event also hopes to highlight the importance of having a clean marine environment, raise awareness on the magnitude of preventable drowning incidents and open-water swimming marathon as a sport.

This year's event follows in the footsteps of the successful 1st Olango Challenge held in May of last year where 72 swimmers from the competitive, fin and fun categories swam the 5 km race course which spanned the Gilutungan Channel from Olango Island to the shores of the Shangri-La Mactan Island Resort and Spa.

The top two male and female winners last year represented the country in the marathon swimming event of the 1st Asian Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia last year.

The minimum eligible age is set at 14 years old. Registration fee is pegged at P500 for current members of PASA, TRAP, PFF and Phil SPADA. Registration is open until March 27, at the 4th floor of the PLDT Building in Mabolo.