A first-hand experience of ‘Dusk to Dawn’, a swimathon at Palava

Palava hosted the second edition of it’s much sought after, 12-hour swimming challenge, ‘Dusk to Dawn’ at the Olympic Sports Centre at Lakeshore Greens. Organised by the Rupali Repale Swimming Academy, the home swimming academy of Palava, and the Mumbai Sea Swimmers, the 12 hours swim challenge included a 12-hour solo swim, a 12-hour relay swim with a group of 4 participants and a 4-hour solo swim that was open to both amatuers and professionals!

We got the opportunity to have a candid chat with Majida Ukani, a resident of Bandra who participated in her first swimathon and is enthusiastically awaiting the next one!

To begin with, tell us how you learnt about ‘Dusk to Dawn’?

I had tagged on the Mumbai Sea Swimmers group sometime towards the end of 2020, a time when all the pools were shut due to the pandemic. This was a group of passionate swimmers that I knew from my neighbourhood, and they used to organize sea swims off Silver Beach in Juhu, infact they organized this one too! They are keen to encourage swimming as a sport and foster a vibrant community for all those who love the sport. What I truly respect is that they welcome everyone to participate; one need not be an elite medalist.

What made you participate in this swimathon?

I decided to participate to show solidarity to this community and was inspired by the organizers who I have literally seen venture far out into the sea! They love to swim!

This was you first time at Dawn to Dusk, tell us more about it!

Yes, this was my first time. Palava’s Olympic Sports Centre is phenomenal, and I remember the first thing I said when I came out of the pool was, “The Palava swimming pool is the best Olympic sized pool that I have ever swam in anywhere in the city!” The cleanliness of the pool and aura of professionalism that it portrays made me enjoy every minute of my swim and put me at ease!

How did you inculcate the passion towards this sport?

What makes me passionate? Hmmm… I think most of us can swim, though it is special for me because I truly love water and find it to be meditative. And learning about such events inspire me to take the sport seriously. I have always drawn inspiration from those around me and being in the company of professional swimmers has encouraged me to pursue the sport and invest time in stamina building and skill training. I truly believe that such events and communities not only inspire but also fuel the passion within!

What next, what are your future goals?

Am not going to not stop here! I intend to begin training with a coach to work on and improve my stroke technique and I hope Palava organizes many more editions of ‘Dusk to Dawn’ as I promise to be there every year!

If you had to describe your experience in a sentence, what would you have to say?

I truly wish there were many more such Olympic Sports Centres and Olympic-sized pools in the city. Palava has the sports infrastructure other cities need to invest in!

Palava places a strong emphasis on fitness and active living – the city has established a comprehensive ecosystem that includes world-class infrastructure, professional coaching, and a diverse range of championships. It’s truly an honour for the city to host events like ‘Dusk to Dawn’, which not only promotes excellence but enables a larger community to partake.

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