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Takayawa says swimmers' early retirement a loss

Paulini Ratulailai
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

IN Fiji, swimmers retire at the age of 16 for women and men at 18 because they opt for other sports when they reach tertiary level which is a big loss in the swimming federation, says FINIS Race Swimming Club head coach Viliame Takayawa.

"I feel it is a loss for the sport and a bigger loss for the swimmers for the years invested in acquiring the technical knowhow of swimming and the time spent in the pool," Takayawa said.

"But I am happy to say that this year we will have a couple of university students who will be training to be competitive swimmers. It is very important that swimmers continue even after high school."

With the Long Course Prix swimming competition this weekend, Takaywa aims to see that the swimmers' technics are executed and maintained.

"Most of these swimmers will be trying their best to improve on their times," Takayawa said.

"...most of our swimmers are primary and secondary students and over the years they find their way into tertiary education, so the intensity and preparation is dictated by the educational program.

He said they had an equal number of women and men in the team and the swimmers had different challenges and uniquely different aspirations.

"Swimming is such a lonely sport that tests the abilities of each swimmer and coaches the limitations of one's innate virtues and the ability to stay focused on the task at hand.

"Our club is a little different from the rest of Fiji swimming affiliated clubs, we train swimmers for up to two years so that they will stay in the group and build them up to a level where they become independent skilled swimmers," Takayawa said.

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