Palava hosted a one-of-a-kind and the city’s first-ever 12-hour swimming challenge at the Olympic Sports Centre.
The tournament was organised by the Rupali Repale Swimming Academy, the home swimming academy of Palava, in collaboration with the Mumbaiseaswimmers, a community of open water swimmers and triathletes in Mumbai. The 12 hours swimming challenge aptly named as ‘Dusk to Dawn’ included a 12-hour solo swim, a 12-hour relay swim with a group of 4 participants and a 4-hour solo swim. Held over the weekend of 17th and 18th September, swimmers began their swim at dusk on Saturday and swam until dawn on Sunday. It is a privilege for Palava to act as a platform for an event of this magnitude.
The event saw the participation of over 60 swimmers across various ages, categories and abilities. And it was heart-warming to see over 30% of women participate. Rupali hopes to increase that count to 50% for the next challenge! The 12-hour swim challenge saw various professional swimmers from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and other neighbouring cities visit Palava.
The 12-hour Swimathon was won by Pratham Bhadasia (male category), who swam a distance of 29.9 km and Cocky Van Dam, (female category) who swam a distance of 24.5 km. The 4-hour swimathon winner in the male category was Shankar Thapa, with a distance of 12. 2 km and the winning trio of Smruti Mule, Susrita Sen and Hetavi Shah, who swam an exact distance of 8.2 km in the women’s category!
Rupali Repale always believed where there is a will; there is a way. She therefore ensured that participants, including Huafrid Billimoria, a man with dystonia, overcame their worries and swam across the pool.
Founder of the academy and a Palava resident, Rupali Repale, also known for being the youngest swimmer to have swum the English Channel in 1994 at the age of 12, shared that the endeavour of the event was not only to compete but also to challenge one’s physical limits and push the boundaries further. Additionally, the 50m Olympic standard swimming pool with a great upkeep and a professional training environment aids the committed aspirants to raise their skills to the international standards,” she says. Rupali is an Indian open- water long-distance swimmer and triathlete who has swam seven straits, including Gibraltar Strait, Palk Strait, Bass Strait, Cook Strait, Robben Island Channel and Mumbai-Dharamtar Channel.
At Palava, we strive to provide a healthier lifestyle – right from a world-class sporting infrastructure to a professional coaching framework that provides the residents a platform to excel in their choice of sports. The facilities and participation in the tournaments are open to the non-residents as well, extending the services to a larger community to lead a fitter life.
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