Friday, March 27, 2009

PBSP holds 2nd Olango Challenge

Sun*Star Cebu
Thursday, March 26, 2009

TO help raise funds for the construction of a classroom in Olango and raise awareness of Cebu’s unique marine life, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association (PASA) will hold the 2nd Olango Challenge Open-Water Marathon Swimming on April 18.

The event, which is expected to attract 80 swimmers from all over the country, also aims to help build a classroom in Candagsao Elementary School.

“This will help raise money for the children of Olango,” said PBSP-Visayas Regional Committee chairman Antonio Aboitiz, who joined Lex Reyes of Pasa and Lapu-Lapu City representative Rudy Villanobos during a press conference at the Casino Español yesterday.

The competition also aims to introduce open water marathon swimming, which is now an Olympic event, as a sport where Filipinos should stand out.

“This is also a way to discover long distance swimmers,” said Aboitiz.

Last year, the event crossed the Hilutungan channel but this year, the organizers have decided to make it spectator-friendly.

The 6.4-kilometer route will start from the Pacific Cebu Resort, passing through some of Mactan’s best beaches before ending at the Tambuli Beach Resort.

Marshals and safety personnel will be closely guarding the swimmers on shore and in the water. Swimmers will also be pulled out of the water if they stay for more than three hours.

“Safety is our highest concern. We don’t want a good thing to turn bad,” said Aboitiz.

Registration for this annual swimming contest, which has a cut-off age of 14 years old, will be P500 for the competitive swimmers and P2,000 for the fun swimmers.

The registration will be until March 27 though swimmers can register on the day itself but they will have to pay a higher fee.

The winner of the marathon swimming event will take home P15,000, while the second and third placers will earn P10,000 and P5,000, respectively.

Aboitiz, who also swam in last year’s event, promised a different kind of competition next year and in the other future installments of the open-water marathon.

“Next year there will be something different again,” said Aboitiz.

Those who want to know more about the swimming event may visit the site’s blog at www.olangochallenge.wordpress.com. (EKA)

From left: Mr. Rudy Villanobos of the City Government of Lapu-Lapu; Mr. Jose Antonio Aboitiz of PBSP; Mr. Alexander Reyes of PASA.