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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Swim For Haiti Growing Fast

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Dr. Mendelssohn Maurice, the Executive Secretary of La Fédération d’Haïti, l’Association de Natation Haïtienne et de Sauvetage (Haitian Aquatic Sports and Life Saving Federation) and an emergency room physician at l’Hôpital Adventiste de Diquini in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince, tells of heartbreaking stories of children and people of all ages drowning and suffering in his hurricane-ravaged Haiti.

Swim for Haiti offers a 1.5 km ocean swim and a 10 km marathon swim in Kaliko Beach Resort on Haiti. The charity swim is held on 19 February 2017 with the goal to help raise awareness of Haiti as a tourism destination and to raise money to help Haitian children learn how to swim.

Race director Jim Chu explains, "The swim raises money for the Children's Swim Program.

It is a 5-year project that develops basic swimming skills amongst Haitian children. In a first phase, the project will instruct 40 swimming teachers, coaches, lifesavers. Children will be taught to safely swim 10 metres and gain a comprehensive understanding of water safety. In addition, a team of open water and short distance swimmers will be selected to represent Haiti at the Pan-American, Olympic Games and FINA World Championships

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Last year at the 2016 Swim for Haiti event, there were over 100 participants including swimmers, escort pilots and crew, and volunteers coming from over 10 countries who raised over US$3,300 to teach Haitian children the fundamentals of swimming. Tim Day from Australia swam 9 km from Kyona beach to the Arcadins Islands in 2 hours 47 minutes to win the long race while Christine Chenet from Haiti and Simon de Ruiter from the Netherlands won the 500m and 1 km sea swims respectively.

Volunteers Simon Murie, Lara Berry, and Christa Kagelmacher helped with the organization as did the primary sponsor, Innovations S.A. along with Wahoo Bay, Enmarcolda S.A., Moulin Sur Mer, Marina Blue, Johnnie Walker, and Hapag Lloyd. Mèsi anpil to the Fédération des Associations de Base de la Côte des Arcadins (FECA) provided support for the local fishermen in bwa fouyes and Matelec S.A. provided lifejackets. Additional operational support was received from the Haiti Ministry of Tourism, Ayiti Bèl Ayiti Vèt, Swimtrek, HeroRescue, and dloHaiti.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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