This Sporting Life profiles a number of events coming up in 2017 in Bali as well as roundups of sports activities held recently.
The 8th Bali Ocean Swim warm up for the 2017 Sea Games
The annual Bali Ocean Swim held on Kuta Beach takes on added importance this year as a number of countries are using the event as a warm up for the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.The 10km ocean swim is one the premier events in the swimming. A number of countries are coming to Bali with their squads to give them ocean swimming experience in preparation of the games.
Now in its 8th year the Bali Ocean Swim will start as usual, from in front of the Bali Garden Hotel and Spa (Next to Discovery Mall). As well as the blue ribbon event the 10km, there is also 5 km and 1.2 km events on the day. The Bali Ocean Swim is a premier fund raising event for the Bali Sports Foundation (BSF). Overall last year 104 swimmers registered to compete over 3 distances – 1.2K, 5K and the premier event 10k. The 1.2K had 4 categories – juniors (12-17yrs) Adult (18-35yrs) Masters (36-55 yrs) and Veterans (over 55), the 5K swim has 3 categories (Junior, Adult and Masters) and the 10K event was an open event. For the first time the Bali Ocean Swim saw 5 swimmers with disabilities – 4 blind and 1 deaf swimmer compete in the 1.2K swim. Last year saw swimmers from Indonesia, Australia, USA, England, Malaysia, Singapore, UK and Japan compete.
Swim Director Rodney Holt is excited by the participation of numerous swimmers in the region, “It will be interesting to see the South East Asian swimmers competing against swimmers from the traditional powerhouse Australia. With the SEA games a month afterwards, it is a final chance for some swimmers to cement their place in the squads. The gold medal won by Singaporean Joseph Golding in Rio last year, has led to increased interest in swimming in the region.” For those readers from outside the region, and not familiar with the SEA Games, apart from the swimming, in the SEA Games there are also another 38 sports, including cricket and rugby 7’s with the 10 nations of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) plus Timor-Leste competing.
In the Bali Ocean Swim, all swimmers are monitored by trained professional lifeguards from the Balawista Surf Lifesaving Club who know and understand the conditions best. Entry is open to those aged 12 and above (juniors 12 -17 must have parental approval) and all monies raised go to providing swimming and water safety programs for children with disabilities. This year BSF will continue the tradition with two special trophies awarded in honour of two supporters of the Bali Ocean Swim who tragically passed away in recent history. The Barry Beardman Trophy, sponsored by Bali Garden Hotel was awarded to the best placed hotel worker and will be presented to the winner by Sherri Beardman, Barry’s widow. The Seth Richardson Trophy, in honour of a past volunteer of BSF, was awarded to the best placed swimmer with disabilities.
The event raises money for BSF to fund their swimming programs for people with disabilities and support the Balawista Nippers program. Indonesia is an island archipelago yet very few people learn how to swim. Drownings are a common occurrence with the majority of people having no understanding of the inherent dangers surrounding activities near or in a water environment. However, there are many children who go against the norm and learn how to swim, show talent and skill, and develop a love for the sport and a desire to achieve excellence. Unfortunately these children are in the minority rather than the majority. World Health Organisation estimates that 2% of all preventable deaths of children in Asia are caused by drowning. In Indonesia, with a population of over 220,000,000 people, (28.4% are aged under 15yrs) this would equate to over 3,000 children each year will drown. A staggering and frightening figure, particularly when the vast majority would be preventable.
In Bali, along the south coast between Seseh Beach and Nusa Dua almost 300 people are rescued by the Balawista Surf Lifesaving each year, with approximately 5% becoming a fatality statistic. Many of those rescued are Indonesians on holidays who have little or no understanding of the dangers and no experience with water awareness and/or survival techniques. Children are our most treasured asset and anything we can do to protect them or to make them safer is well worth the effort. For anyone interested to participate please check out the website www.balioceanswim.com or go to the Bali Garden Hotel and Spa in the two weeks leading up to the swim and ask at the front desk.
For full list of sports please go to http://www.balisportmag.com
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