The event was held under the auspices of the UAE Swimming Federation, organized by the Fujairah International Marine Club and sponsored by the Hilton Hotel which provided refreshments for competitors and spectators after the event.
The team competition was won by the Fujairah Swimming Club who beat the teams from the UAE Army, the Fujairah Police, Southern Discomfort (a group of expatriates from the southern hemisphere) and Le Méridien Hotel.
Medals were also awarded to Andrew Scholtz for being the oldest competitor (at the ripe young age of 55) and Abdulla Hassan (aged 11) for being the youngest competitor.
The recently refurbished Hilton Hotel beach was a scenic venue for hosting the award ceremony and the General Manager, Remco Werkhoven, judged it a successful event and expressed the hope that his hotel might continue to be strongly associated with this event.
The Managing Director of the Fujairah International Marine Club, Major Ahmed Ibrahim Mohamed Darak expressed his pleasure at this first Fujairah Swimming Championships event, noting the number of competitors and the substantial support from the community who cheered from the corniche and celebrated the participants at the finishing line.
“I want to host two annual swimming competitions in the future,” said Major Ahmed, “The annual Fujairah Swimming Championships for people from Kalba to Dibba and the UAE Swimming Championships for people from every emirate.”
The sport of swimming is at an early stage in the UAE and one of the difficulties for swimmers on the east coast is the lack of an Olympic-size swimming pool for training and competitions. Most of the competitors had trained in short swimming pools owned by hotels and clubs around the emirate of Al Fujairah.
Major Ahmed Ibrahim Mohamed Darak is keen that the Fujairah International Marine Club continues to work closely with the UAE Swimming Federation and in conversation he revealed one of his dreams: “In the next five years I would like to see a large swimming pool established on the Fujairah corniche that is of the highest standard and which is equipped with a school to provide training and coaching for our up and coming swimmers.”
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.
Images from top to bottom:
Competitors entering the water (Photo by Alan Nambiar)
Remco Werkhoven (Hilton)
Major Ahmed Ibrahim Mohamed Darak (FIMC) in interviewed by race commentator Mohammed Al Badri (Fujairah Media)
Team from the UAE Army
Captain Adnan (Coach of the Fujairah Swimming Club)
Timekeeper and referee at the finishing line.