Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sipalay City Showcases ‘Beauty Of Open Waters’ In International Swim Fest

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Sipalay City Showcases ‘Beauty Of Open Waters’ In International Swim Fest

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The staging of the International Open Water Swim Circuit in Sipalay City will showcase the beauty of the open waters in the top beach destination of Negros Occidental this weekend.

On Feb. 17 and 18, the southern Negros city will host the first leg of the water sports event organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Western Visayas (Region 6) together with the Zamboanga Open Water Swimming Club Inc.

At least 138 swimming enthusiasts will see action in the three categories.

“Experience Western Visayas in Sipalay City. Join us in promoting our advocacy for marine conservation and protection through sports tourism and ecotourism,” Mayor Maria Gina Lizares said in a video message.

Stakeholders from the city government and concerned government agencies met on Friday for final coordination.

Based on the start lists, there will be 48 participants in the 1.5-kilometer swim category, while the 3-kilometer and the 5-kilometer categories will have 44 and 46 participants, respectively.

They will compete in five age categories between 12 and over 50 years old.

All swim routes will start and end at the Bugana Beach and Dive Resort, with the swimmers traversing along the coast off Campomanes-Ballo Marine Reserve and Sanctuary.

On Saturday, the welcome program and the race briefing will be held at Punta Ballo Beach, featuring green advocacy talks, cultural performances and a tourism and cultural fair.

During the swim day on Sunday, participants will gather at Campomanes Beach for the registration and safety briefing before the start of the competition at 6 a.m.

The second leg will be held on Sicogon Island in Carles, Iloilo, on April 14; the third leg, Taklong Island in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, on June 30; and the final leg, Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan, Sept. 22.

Earlier, DOT-6 Regional Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez said that through the International Open Water Swim Circuit, they aim to establish Western Visayas as a leading destination for sports and ecotourism, particularly for open water swimming.

The DOT-6 seeks to enhance the human-nature connection through sustainable tourism practices and community-based initiatives, as well as advocate the conversation and management of natural habitats to preserve the region’s ecological integrity, she added. (PNA)