Swimming Federation of India (SFI), the governing body of swimming in the country, along with Maharashtra State Amateur Aquatic Association today inaugurated the 32nd Sub Junior & 42nd Junior Glenmark National Aquatic Championships – 2015. Balasaheb Langde – Secretary General – Maharashtra Oylmpic Association, Glenn Saldanha, Chairman & Managing Director – Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited, Anand Desai, President – Glenmark Aquatic Foundation, Abhay Dadhe, President – MSAA, Kamlesh Nanavati, General Secretary – SFI, Virendra Nanavati – Senior Vice President – Indian Olympic Association (IOC) were the Chief Guests of the Opening Ceremony.
The championships have been organized at the state-of-the-art swimming facility at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Pune from 13th to 19th July, 2015.
The 32nd Sub Junior & 42nd Junior Glenmark National Aquatic Championships has a record 1448 athletes – the highest ever participation witnessed in the history of these championships. The athletes will take part in the disciplines of Swimming, Diving and Water Polo in the Sub-Junior (Under 12) and Junior (Under 18) age groups.
There are 8 Boys Water Polo and 6 Women Water Polo Teams and 75 divers participating in these championships. Over 150 officials from across the country will ensure the smooth conduct of these championships.
Declaring the Championships open, Glenn Saldanha, Chairman & Managing Director- Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited said “Our objective is to help transform the eco system of swimming in our country and to put India on the global swimming map. We hope that one or few Indian swimmers are able it to the Olympic podium by the year 2020 or 2024. ”
Around 100 races, held under FINA rules, will be swum over seven days of these championships. Close to 300 medals are at stake for the athletes in Swimming, Diving and Water Polo events. The host state – Maharashtra along with Karnataka, the two powerhouses in Indian aquatics will bring the largest contingents of over 120 athletes each. There is also a grand trophy for the state winning the maximum points.
Virendra Nanavati, Senior Vice President (IOC) said “I am sure we will have many new national records creating in this event in Pune. These championships will also act as the selection trials for the 8th Asian Age Group Swimming Championships to be held in Bangkok later this year and hence it is a very important competition”.
Mr. Nanavati also informed that for the FINA world championships to be held in Kazan, Russia, Sandeep Sejwal, Virdhaval Khade, Aaron D’Souza, Saurabh Sangvekar and Sajan Prakash have qualified to participate. He also stated that Shivani Kataria will be the lone Indian women to represent the country in this championship in Russia.
SFI & Glenmark Aquatic Foundation alsojointly announced a first of its kind, ‘Glenmark Swim Technique Awards – 2015’, which will reward not only talented swimmers but also his or her respective coaches. 40 athletes (and their coaches) in various age groups for girls and boys will be presented the ‘Glenmark Swim Technique Awards’ which will be adjudicated by an expert panel. In addition, starting from these Championships, Glenmark Aquatic Foundation will also award up to 10 scholarships to young age group swimmers who have the potential for future excellence.