All children are natural water babies, so why not feed that talent and try something different like open water swimming? Malaysia Open Water Swimming organises clinics, to develop children’s confidence in the water, before they can compete in open water swimming events.
What is open water swimming?
OWS is swimming in any naturally-occurring body of water such as lakes, rivers and seas. Besides the natural elements, the main difference with swimming in a pool is that for open water you need to have a certain level of confidence, and whilst staying on course you’ve to rely on sighting by lifting your head out of the water. If your child is not a continent swimmer yet, you can try the MOWS clinics with a focus on water safety, drown prevention, CPR and first aid, in water confidence and lifesaving.
Open water swimming is a healthy and safe sport. Pacing and breathing is key, just like in other endurance sports. The worst thing really, that can happen in an open water race, is failing to finish within the cut-off time. In a typical race, 30 to 40 per cent of participants do not finish their swim. They get fished out of the water by a boat. They injure nothing but their ego… No problem: next time better, right?!
High safety standards are in place. The course at events and at clinics is patrolled by safety crafts and life guards. An ambulance is on standby and wearing safety buoys is mandatory. In 2017, the first kids’ OWS was held in Port Dickson, where some 50 kids participated, followed by an event in Putrajaya in 2018.
Newcomers have to follow an OWS clinic first. They can join in when they feel confident in a pool and if they are able to swim 200 meters freestyle. Check the MOWS website for more info regarding the clinics and trainings.
MOWS is also the official organiser for Open Water Swimming events like:
- The A to B swim, from Pulau Kapas island to the mainland (Marang)
- Loupe swim in the sea near Langkawi
- Around the island of Perhentian (16K, single or relay) and a loupe of 4k
- Loupe swim in the sea of Port Dickson
- Loupe and A to B swim at Putrajaya lake
Kids Open Water Swimming starts from 400m, whereas for the marathon swimmers, the starting distance is 10km.
On Sunday 1 December an OWS event will be held in Langkawi, where kids in the age group 7-12 year old are also welcome.
The OWS events are a good experience for children. It builds confidence and courage. Children also like the excitement of meeting other kids/friends and swimming all together. It seems that they feel less pressured, compared to joining in pool competitions.
The events at the beautiful islands are ideal for a family outing. The experience to swim and to be lucky to see a turtle, fishes and coral below you, whilst having fun on the island with your family and friends, is priceless.
Enthusiastic OWS participants, who are parents too, requested for an additional kids’ OWS race in Pulau Perhentian. MOWS is taking this request very seriously and is planning to have a kids’ race too, in addition to the ‘normal’ races. A 400m-500m kid’s race is taking into consideration on 10 October 2020.
Can my child join in swimming events?
Your child needs to have a certain level of confidence in the water. Any triathlon, Ironman, swimathon events or Swimon workshop/training, which are given to kids twice a month in Putrajaya and monthly in Port Dickson, can be counted as experience to qualify for the MOWS events. Contact the technical director here for further queries.
Would you like to find out where to take your baby or child for swimming lessons in KL? Check out this article here!