Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4th Olango open water swim on April 30

4th Olango open water swim on April 30
Reuben Terrado, JVP
GMA News
April 13, 201

The 2011 Olango Challenge, an open water swimming event, will hold its fourth staging at the Tambuli Beach Club in Mactan Island, Cebu on April 30 with a dual purpose.

Like in previous editions, the Olango Challenge will serve as a fund-raiser that will help benefit the people and the environment of Olango Island in Cebu province.

The same race will also be a test event to determine the composition of the national team to the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.

A total of 50 to 70 open water swimmers are expected to compete in the event organized by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the Philippine Aquatic Sports Association (PASA).

"This is not just to race each other in the spirit of competitive sport, but more importantly to assist PBSP raise awareness about the challenges faces by the people of Olango Island, whose lives and livelihoods are ruled by the water that surrounds them," said PBSP Visayas regional committee chairman Jose Antonio Aboitiz.

In the past editions of the Olango Challenge, the race has helped build children's classrooms, create livelihood to their parents, delivery of basic services and rehabilitating the environment in Olango.

Aboitiz also said that the race hopes to become the premier event in open water swimming, which became an Olympic sport in 2008.

"The Philippines does not have an open water swimming event. This is a great opportunity to start out. This is an event that will try to seek distance swimmers in the Philippines," said Aboitiz.

This will be the longest race in the four editions of the Olango Challenge in terms of distance as the competitors will swim six kilometers and will loop a two-kilometer box-type course three times. - Reuben Terrado, JVP, GMA News