“Swimming isn’t that hard…”


“Lane Lines 1” by Brain Cantoni is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

We’re midway through August, and school is back on. Volleyball/ tennis coaches and enthusiasts have already started promoting their sports to encourage new members to join, and basketballers are already thinking of pre-season. Everyone has just started revving up their engines… except for a small group of people: swimmers.

Why is swimming such a challenging sport? The continuous and rigorous training that runs year-long has pushed us, and all our teammates, to our limits.

Please don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that none of the other sports requires efforts and dedication; in fact, every other sport is just as intense during season! However, as swimmers, we feel as if many people at UNIS, both students and teachers, underestimate the efforts that we, swimmers, dedicate to our sport.

We bet that all swimmers have heard this comment, “Swimming isn’t that hard – it’s only 2 minutes of hard work before sitting and waiting an hour until your next event.” Let us try to highlight why this statement is incorrect on many accounts:

1. Swimming is the only sport that continues throughout the year. Swimmers have to constantly train to remain in top shape or else strength and speed diminish;

2. Many swimmers gym on a weekly basis and train during morning sessions. Our season is during winter (Brrrhhh, it can be chilly), and for morning sessions, I know swimmers who wake up at 5:00 am every other morning to commit to their sport. “Swimming isn’t that hard” – I beg to differ;

3. The level of competition in APAC swimming is HIGH, like VERY HIGH – e.g. Andres Tung (HKIS) is the current record holder for the 50m freestyle at APAC with a time of 23.11 seconds (2009). The men’s world record holder for 50m is Florent Manaudou with a time of 20.26 seconds (2014).

It’s not only APAC that swimmers compete in – there are multiple invitational swim meets attended by seven schools across South East Asia… did I also mention that we have regular squad meets with schools in Hanoi? These meets tend to be lower ranked than APAC, but did you know that two boys who swim for BISV HCMC are on the Vietnamese national swim team?

We could keep going on because we’re swimmers, and although we don’t speak for all swimmers, we would like to say on behalf of all aquatic beings – swimming is not as easy as it seems! It’s alright if you don’t swim or if you don’t understand what the sport is about… but please try to appreciate the work we put in! Basketballers work hard on their sports, volleyballers train insanely during season, but swimmers do too – so please don’t insult our sport by saying otherwise!