Swimmers are expecting to start competing in newly introduced Open Water competitions, their federation’s president has said.
Rwanda Swimming Federation President, Jimmy Ndoli, said that this year they want to organize more competitions to develop talents in the same category.
“Open water swimming is a sanctioned Olympic discipline, and if a swimmer wishes to become a professional, they also need to train or practice in open water to gain the techniques that are also helpful while contesting in pools.”
The competition is of the kind that will introduce swimmers from different clubs to compete in lakes like Lake Muhazi and Rubavu this year.
Open Water competitions will categorically be ‘Swim-for-Fun’ event matching swimming clubs.
Ndoli revealed that organizing outdoor or open water swimming competitions by the federation will help upcoming talent to improve their techniques.
He said that open water swimming presents a challenge never seen in the swimming pool; he believes that many swimmers who practice and compete in lakes or rivers tend to pursue a certain different rare technique that he calls natural.
Ndoli further believes open water swimming helps upcoming youngsters to test- both physical and mental ability.
Jean Marie Havugimana, Rwamagana coach said that,” I have spent more than 50 years swimming, I live in Muhazi water, but these techniques are new to me.”
The Rwamagana swimming club coach has also admitted that swimming in open waters Lake Muhazi has improved the performance of his swimmers in terms of techniques.
Isaie Kwizera, a swimmer, is learning the new swimming styles or techniques that he will use to compete in the natural lakes.
The techniques will also help him push past waters in swimming pools.
When a swimmer decides to make it a professional career,the same techniques are needed to feature in Open Water competitions hosted both in lakes and indoor.
Last year the federation hosted an event at two lakes, Muhanzi that happened in January and Rubavu in December to identify talents for the Open water category.
These included the Iwawa-Kivu Open Cross Swimming competition organized by the swimming body in partnership with Rubavu-based Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle Swimming club as well as the Muhanzi Swimming competition.
Coaches also featured in the swimming matches.
Samuel Kinimba Ufitimana, a swimmer, said, “We want that at the end of this year to have professional clubs that can compete for their country in international competitions and win medals.”
Last October 5 2018, a 10 training clinic closed at the La Palisse Hotel in Nyandukungu in Kigali after a French professional Jean Paul Narce, and his English counterpart Joshua Neuloh trained 32 swimmers and had them practice in Lake Muhazi.