Swimming is set for a major boost. Thanks to the initiative of Waveline Sports, who in association with the world famous, Michael Phelps Swimming, will soon start a grassroot swimming programme in the country. Michael Phelps Swimming, a global swimming program which is designed for all ages and abilities, will now be launched, first in Mumbai, on April 11th, beginning operations at various locations across the city.
This was announced by Cathy Bennett, director of Michael Phelps Swimming School and Mohsin Kazi of Waveline Sports at a media interaction on Saturday.
The Michael Phelps Swimming program is being brought into India by Waveline Sports Pvt. Ltd. which is currently at its grassroots level and the curriculum is headed by Cathy Bennett, the first swim instructor of swimming legend Michal Phelps, who has an illustrious record of winning a total of 18 Olympic gold medals from three Games, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012, besides 26 world titles.
Phelps is the owner, president and CEO of the programme — developed by Bennett — which is taught in over 30 states in the US and in over 20 countries across six continents.
Cathy Bennett, who will be assisted by Anne Taylor, a Senior Instructor, are currently in Mumbai, along with two assistant instructors. They will not only launch Michael Phelps Swimming but will also train swimming coaches, who will then impart to trainees this global swimming program.
“I am very lucky person because I have been able to have trained over hundreds and thousands of children to swim. I have the pride and distinction to have Michael in person in our training programme as a 5 year-old. Probably from the age of 5-7,” said Bennett at the conference.
Mr. Mohsin Kazi, founder of Waveline sports said, “We are excited to see Michael Phelps Swimming program across 10 locations in Mumbai. We are looking forward to train 5000 participants through this program at our locations. We expect to expand in the other parts of country in 2016. Currently our focus remains to work on grass root levels to have a strong foundation of Swimmers to get ready at competitive levels for the nation.”
Body Rhythm Club, Ryan International Schools, YMCA, Ajmera Global School, I Land Sports Academy, Matunga Gymkhana and The Sports Gurukul are a few of the esteemed partners for Michael Phelps Swimming in Mumbai.
“Our focus will be to tie up with recreational clubs, sports clubs and schools who have swimming facilities,” added Kazi.
“We at Sports Gurukul are very excited to be associated with this programme, which is attached to the World best swimmer Michael Phelps. Our target is to take this programme to over 50,000 children from across 100 schools in India,” said a Paresh Kothari, Co-Founder of The Sports Gurukul.
“Rather than teach by cause and effect and “box checking” of skills, our method is to holistically teach learning strategies for lifelong swimming safety, all of which are based on what we call the 4B’s of swimming: Breathing, Balance, Buoyancy, and Breath Control.
“We believe that quality instruction is not just based on the basic motor skills of kicking, stroking, and rhythmic breathing. In addition, we feel that our swimmers need to understand the properties of the water (what we call the hows and the whys). We feel it is paramount to develop the whole person, mentally and physically. This is why our participants, in addition to learning personal safety, stroke technique, and rescue skills, also learn how we float, why we need to have certain body positions, why we breathe rhythmically, how we achieve balance in the water, and why we need to feel the water; just to name a few of the things we teach,” says Cathy Bennett.
Though initially the focus is on grassroots swimming, there are plans to scout for talent in the country who can go further and make a big splash in competitions, he explained.
Bennett’s immediate responsibility is to teach the swim instructors the Michael Phelps way of swimming. “The Michael Phelps instructors are what make this swim school special. In addition to any existing certifications and credentials, every MP Swim School instructor is trained in a proprietary MP Swim School instructor course. This ensures consistency in teaching the MPSS way of swimming. Every swimmer has a different goal in the water. Recognizing this fundamental principle is what makes MPS instructors and students successful,” adds Cathy.