State swimmers should get more support: Elvis Ali Hazarika
Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: The former international and first channel swimmer from Assam Elvis Ali Hazarika spoke to The Sentinel on his new mission and present scenario of swimming in the state on Saturday. Here is the excerpt.
The Sentinel (TS): What is the present scenario of swimming in Assam?
Elvis: It’s not so bad. Swimmers from Jorhat, Guwahati and a few other parts of the state are doing well in the national level competition. But yes, the result should be much better as we have huge talents in this game. My suggestions to the swimmers from the state that they should work hard as I believe there is no other alternative to success.
(TS): Mithu-Elvis-Fariha...once Assam produced international swimmers one after another. Now the scenario is different. What is the reason?
Elvis: There are several reasons behind it. Most of the talented swimmers don’t get the necessary back up from their parents as I received during my days. Parents want to give more priority to education. So after a certain period, talented swimmers left the pool and I believe it is one of the prime reasons that we are not able to produce swimmers on international repute. Parents should give full support to their son or daughter if the swimmer is really talented and starts performing at the national level. We also need a good coaching programme and a sufficient number of swimming pools in the state.
(TS): What about the infrastructure of swimming in the state?
Elvis: We need more and more. In Guwahati, there are only two proper size swimming pools but the RG Baruah sports complex pool is shut down for nearly a year because of renovation. I don’t know why it is taking so much time. Now the question is how city-based swimmers can prepare themselves for national-level competition depending on a single pool. It is not like that I go to the pool, swim one hour, back home and thus ensure a medal in the national level championship. A swimmer should have to undergo different training schedule and for that, he and his coach need the pool for a long period and that too without any disturbance.
(TS): Tell us your next mission.
Elvis: After Catalina Channel now I have decided to swim Irish North Channel and I got the date between July 28 and August 3, 2020. I will swim a 48 km stretch between Ireland and Scotland. The expedition is very challenging because of chilly water and a huge number of jellyfishes.
(TS): When are you starting preparation?
Elvis: I have already started. I need to gain little weight as I have to swim in chilly water. I will go to Nainital very soon and start training at Bhimtal Lake to accustom to those types of conditions.