Seychelles to host major open water swimming event
The Seychelles is set to earn worldwide attention when it hosts the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Marathon Swim World Series Open Challenge for the first time this month.
On 20 May, swimmers from around the world will converge on Beau Vallon beach for the marathon swimming competition when the Seychelles becomes the first African country to host the event.
The global popularity of the open challenge will bring worldwide media attention and boost Seychelles’ profile in the international arena – and it will continue as Seychelles has forged a deal with FINA to host an annual series of the competition for the next four years.
David Vidot, chairman of the Seychelles Swimming Association, said: “We want this to be a massive event, and we want to see many Seychellois come to swim on that day.
“We also want to make an impact on the community, so we urge school children to take part in the competition,” he added, stating that there will be shorter distances for those who can’t swim long distances.
Some 60 elite swimmers are expected to compete in the race, which is scheduled to start at 2pm. The morning will be dedicated to open water races for mass swimmers, while the main event will be followed by a post-race prize ceremony and an evening gala dinner for the elite participants, sponsors and their entourage.
The best Seychellois swimmers will represent Seychelles during the remainder of the series, due to take place in Portugal, Hungary, Canada, Chun’An in China, Taiwan and Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Sherin Francis, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, said: “Tourism accounts for more than 58 per cent of Seychelles’ GDP, so we’re excited to host this high-profile sporting event for the first time.
“We can’t wait to show our hospitality to everyone coming to the FINA Open Water World Series.”
Beau Vallon was chosen to host the competition because of its calm weather and access to hotels near the beach. It is also known as a safe place to swim. Designated areas and sitting facilities will be available for spectators.
Registration fees and other details will be announced soon. The names and nationalities of the swimming competitors will be announced two weeks ahead of the series.
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