'Goal is to make kids swim round the year'

'Goal is to make kids swim round the year'

Powerhouse of swimming in the country, Karnataka has time and again sought outside expertise to keep the talent flowing and stay ahead of their rivals.

In another similar venture, the State association has roped in the services of American Swimming Coaches Association’s Brian McGuire, who will be in city for nine days to conduct his ‘Learn To Swim’ programme for coaches and kids.

The 43-year-old American kick-started the programme at the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre on Sunday where he will be engaged until Tuesday. He then moves to Swim Life Academy from Aug 4-6 before winding up his session at the Sindia Swimming School (Aug 9-11).

“The purpose of my visit is to build the base for my Learn To Swim programme,” McG­uire told reporters. “A lot of kids come here for the summer programme and our goals is encourage them to become year-round swimmers. I believe swimming is a lifelong sport which we can do until the end of our lives to stay healthy. It’s a cradle-to-grave sport. When I’m 60 or 70, I may not be able to play football but I can definitely swim.”

“In the United States, the focus of the programme is for kids aged 3-7 years. However, in India we are planning to stretch the programme to kids until 12 years. Also, I would be working a lot with the coaches because they are the main factors behind creating champions,” said.

McGuire, who has run his programme in places such as Dubai and Mexico, was pleased with the set-up here. “We had a lot of discussions on what works in the States and what could work here. I worked extensively in 3-4 countries and the issues they face are very similar to yours. At US also, we have an economic divide where some kids can afford the sport and some can’t.”

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