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Norman Kannangara (left) from Nestle’s is presenting the challenge cup to Krishan Duminda, VP of the SLSASA. Looking on are Bandula Egodage (from Nestle’s) and Malka Jayasinghe (right, Secretary of SLSASA) (Pic by Chandana Wijesinghe)

A swimmer can reach a high standard at a young age. Their standard can be considered so good that they can even be selected to represent the country in their teens.

One way is to participate in as many meets as possible and become recognized. One such meet is the annual Sri Lanka Schools Age Group Aquatic Championship that will be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium pool from 18 to 21 June.

Encouragingly, there has been an increase in the number of swimmers that will turn up. Nestle’s has come forward for the 23rd year to sponsor this championship that has grown in capacity. There will be over 4000 swimmers compared to about 3500 last year.

The number of schools that will participate are 80 boys schools, 50 girls schools and 35 mixed schools while there will be 270 boys and 165 girls taking part in the relay events.

The events will be held on age group basis such as the under-9, 1, 13, 15, 17 and 19 for boys and girls. There will be 140 individual and 24 relay events.

The diving events have already been completed with Royal College winning the boys category while Bishop’s College taking the girls title. There were 25 boys schools and eight girls schools competing.

St. Joseph’s College, Colombo were the boys champions and Mahamaya Balika Kandy were the girls champions last year. They are bound to receive stiff competition this year.

Certificates will be awarded to those who reach qualifying time in the below 13 age group.

Medals will be presented to the first three places in the above 13 age groups while certificates will be awarded for the first eight place finishers.

Challenge trophies will be presented to the senior champion, girls and boys, overall girls champion and overall boys champions in the under-15, 17 and 19 age groups.

President Maithripala Sirisena will be the chief guest at the prize presentation and closing ceremony. (TBR)