Rotary + Swimarathon = World Record

I met Edward Hayco last Tuesday. It was Valentine’s Day. It was also Ed’s birthday. He was having lunch with Eleanor and his children at Ginza; I was avoiding the V-Day rush by having a lunch date with Jasmin.

Ed and I spoke about the Guinness world records of Cebu City. Granted that the latest (chess) will be formalized, we now have three:

1) Dancesport –largest dance class: 7,770 dancers.

2) Fireworks –125,801 rockets launched in less than 60 seconds.

3) Chess – 43,157 players in one event.

Well, ever the restless sportsman, Ed is concocting another Guinness attempt. I won’t divulge the details yet but will write about it soon.

But, for now, Ed will be happy to hear that Cebu City will be part of another WR attempt on February 25. Called the “Rotary Swimarathon,” we’ll join a global event where thousands will swim simultaneously for one hour.    April Dequito, president of the Rotary Club of Talisay – Cebu, is spearheading the project. Here’s the plan: On Feb. 25 (next Saturday) from 8 to 9 P.M. at the YMCA pool (along Osmeña Blvd.), people will take turns swimming 100 meters. Every swimmer who records that distance will be counted. And, while Cebuanos are swimming in YMCA, thousands of others worldwide — from New Zealand to South Africa to Portugal — will swim during the same hour.

“At the moment, we have gathered 50 participants,” said April. “We still need to contact different varsity teams in various high schools. We are allocating two lanes for the 100-meter swim, and the other 2 lanes are for the 25-meter relay (exhibition purposes only as not everyone can finish a 100-meter swim). PWD will also be invited to swim on a special lane.

“Only the 100-meter swim can be counted as part of the attempt to break the World Record. There are also options to swim for more than a 100-meters. Hopefully we can gather about 150 swimmers for the 100-meter swim and perhaps 50 more for the relay. The 150 swimmers would be more than enough to help contribute in the our attempt to break the world record but if we can gather more, that’s even better.”

This project is done not just to break the WR (currently at 2,533 swimmers). “At the same time, we are raising sponsorship or charging a nominal entrance fee of P500/swimmer to support the End Polio Now campaign. After 20 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease.”

The objectives? Like the Rotary’s famous Four-Way Test, it’s also Four-fold: 1) Set a new World Record for the most number of people swimming at the same time. 2) Raise funds towards the elimination of Polio. 3) Increase the awareness of Rotary. 4) Encourage more people to swim and stay fit.

I’m joining. Want to join? Email rctalisaycebu@gmail.com.

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