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Family touch to spice up World Junior Swimming Championships

posted on 29/07/2013: 1903 views

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex will be hosting over 900 competitors from 93 countries between August 26 and 31, with hundreds more flying in to town to cheer on family members taking part in the championships.

Families from as far afield as Brazil and Botswana will add to the atmosphere of the international event, and they are all hoping the support they will be giving their sons, daughters, brothers or sisters, will inspire them to achieve personal bests while boosting the reputation of swimming and aquatic sports as truly family sports.

The Van der Colff family from Botswana is flying to Dubai to support 16 year old David, whose inspiration is the American multi gold medal winning Olympic champion Michael Phelps.

David will compete in the 50 and 100 metres events in freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. Also heading to Dubai from Costa Rica is the Rojas Elizondo family, supporting 17-year-old Mario Andrés, who first started swimming as a six year old, and is now motivated by his love for international travel as much as his desire to be one of the world's top swimmers.

"You have to work hard to reach the top in any sport, and Mario is no different - taking part in nine sessions of water practice per week, and going to the gym three times weekly. And to reach the standards he has involves plenty of travel because swimming is a minority sport in Costa Rica.

"The problem here is that we live two hours from the pool, so Mario loses so much time between home and the pool,” said his brother Julio Rojas Elizondo Junior. But Mario gets plenty of support from his family.

Says his brother: "Me and my family have dedicated all the time we have to his swimming training, because he loves it, it is healthy, and also because it will be an honour if he could qualify for an Olympics.”

To reach the top in international competition in any sport in any country takes hard work, dedication and the support of families, and the families heading to Dubai next month from around the world are testament to this. – Khaleej Times


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