Just over the last 12 months, The Daily News of Open Water Swimming has covered all kinds of new developments in the world of open water swimming. From Ireland (Swim Ireland Open Water Swimming National Committee) to Japan (Japan International Open Water Swimming Association), the organization of the sport is picking up its pace. From grass-roots initiatives taking hold nationwide in Great Britain (Outdoor Swimming Society) to fabulously exciting races televised from South Africa to Brazil, the sport is offering more and more to its athletes.
With more events, comes more athletes. With more athletes, comes more media coverage. With more media coverage, comes more sponsorship. With more sponsorship, comes increasingly attractive events. The circle of success continues - which is especially heartening in times when the global economy is still reeling.
The sport's advantages are numerous: the event locations are scenic and natural - oceans, lakes, bays, rivers. The autonomy of swimming with hundreds or thousands of swimmers is often less stressful and more enjoyable than standing up on a starting block alone in a pool. The challenge and enjoyment of swimming from start to finish is tangible.
So we are not surprised to report another new organization has been announced. The Dubai Open Water Swimming Sports Association (DOWSSA) will hold its first event, a 6.5K sea race from the Atlantis The Palm Hotel on Palm Jumeirah to Mina Seyahi (meaning 'Port of Travelers'), in Dubai on November 27th. The Palm Open Water Challenge Cup is part of Sea Dubai Week, hosted by Dubai International Marine Club.
DOWSSA, created by Saeed Hareb and Sid Bensalah of the Dubai International Marine Club, seeks to establish and promote competitive open water swimming in Dubai as well as sanction new events.
Adam Winter, another DOWSSA founding member, was overflowing with excitement, "We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline that will blow the minds of swimmers and sports fans alike. The creation of DOWSSA is truly an exciting development in the world of open water swimming sports. Dubai has some of the most fantastic and globally recognizable settings around which to host such events and, crucially, the support from all levels within the community to really attain our vision of making Dubai a leading destination for open water swimming sports."
DOWSSA will focus five initiatives:
1. To promote and encourage those living in Dubai to participate in all forms of open water swimming sports
2. To make participation in such sports easy and enjoyable for everyone involved
3. To promote health and fitness through competitive open water swimming sports
4. To cooperate with other organizations for the betterment of open water swimming sports, with a focus on establishing new facilities and gaining permissions to host events
5. To establish Dubai as a world leading destination for open water swimming sports
The world is 70% covered with water and new organizations like DOWSSA continue to push the sport forward.