Buhain keeps swimming afloat

The Congress of Philippine Aquatics Inc. is staging the second leg of the Reunion Swim Challenge from 27 to 28 August at the newly-refurbished Teofilo Yldefonso Swimming Pool at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Batangas Rep. Eric Buhain said the swimfest is open to all Filipino, teams or clubs regardless of affiliations as COPA embarked on its thrust as the unifying organization in the swimming community.

“Regardless of your affiliation COPA welcomes everybody with open arms. There’s only thing that we like to see and that is to see unity in the swimming community,” Buhain said.

“After more than two years of inaction due to the pandemic, finally our young swimmers can now go back to the pool, enjoy the action once again and resume the clubs’ grassroots sports development program.”

The swimming Olympian and former SEA Games record holder formed COPA together with Chito Rivera, Darren Evangelista, Joel Esquivel and Richard Luna in 2020.

Today, the group boasts of more than 200 teams and clubs in 11 clusters comprising the 17 regions of the archipelago. It has close to 300 coaches with a total membership of 3,500 swimmers.

“I remember we started the year by organizing a coaches’ technical seminar through Samahang Manlalangoy ng Pilipinas. We were about to roll out a series of seminars in different parts of the country for the benefit of our coach friends, but the pandemic hit and we had to postpone all the plans,” Buhain said.

“Now that we are on the way to recovery, we are pushing through with our programs and the COPA has lined up a busy schedule for the coming months in preparation for the ‘Big One’ next year,” he said.

Aside from the Reunion Swim Challenge, the COPA is holding the first Novice Swim Championship slated from 17 to 18 September; the Reunion 3rd leg from 12 to 13 October; the Reunion Swim Challenge Championship from 22 to 23 October; Sprint meet with introduction of SKINS Swim event from 12 to 13 November; and Short Course Yuletide Swimming Championship from 10 to 11 December.

COPA National Training Director and 1972 Munich Olympics veteran Carlos “Pinky” Brosas said they have lined up coaching seminars in January next year in five locations: Northern Luzon, NCR, Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Presiding over the seminars is Australian coach Wayne Goldsmith.

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