The Kiambu County government has come up with swimming competition programmes among school going children in efforts to promote the sport in the County.
This is after realisation that most schools have swimming pools and good trainers making it easier for students to partake the sport.
The County Swimming Federation Chairman, Stanley Mwangi Kaberu said the competitions will expose young children into the sport and also offer them a chance to represent the county in national competitions.
Kaberu said it will also help in preventing drowning cases in the County which stood at four last year.
He said they are working with school managements to make sure they have swimming pools or take their children to sport clubs to be trained on the sport.
“The county has several prestigious schools that have swimming pools and trainers. With the support of stakeholders, we plan to leverage the sport by ensuring all schools have swimming pools,” he said.
He was speaking during the County’s Swimming Competition third edition that was held at Mpesa Foundation in Thika on Monday.
The event brought together over 1,000 participants from various schools, competing in various swimming categories, with the youngest competitor aged four years old.
The County Federation Head Coach, Alex Ndegwa said having swimming as a lesson in the new curriculum would provide children with swimming skills.
He said swimming has become a well-paying career and called on parents to support their children in pursuing the sport.
He said they were impressed with the swimming standards in the County and that they expect to organise more of such competitions in future.
“Swimming has for long been regarded as a rich man sport which is not the case. We want to remove that perception. We have been impressed with the swimming skills level in the County and do expect to produce several swimmers competing in the national level and even in World Olympic Games,” said Ndegwa.
Those who got good timings will proceed to the nationals in June. The participants said the competition would improve their swimming prowess and also provide them local and international opportunities.
“We swim from 5.30 am to 6.30am thrice a week and in the evenings. During the weekends, we go swimming to sports clubs where we perfect our skills in the sport,” said Mya Shah, a 14 year old from Crawford International school.
Among the 17 schools that participated in the competition, Crawford International scooped first position, followed by Nova Pioneer Swim team and Nova Pioneer Tatu City.
By Muoki Charles