Swim Maldives hosted an island-to-island 5.2KM long distance swimming event from Kurumba Maldives Resort to the capital city Male', on Friday.
The event boasted over 37 participants, among which were swimmers from the Maldives Lifeguard Association, Kurumba Maldives as well as former and current national team swimmers.
Prominent lawyer and Founder of Swim Maldives Hussain Shameem described the warm waters of Maldives as possessing a year-round competitive swimming advantage, noting that in countries such as Australia and Canada, swimmers enjoy only a few months of temperate waters for training.
"It was a great experience", said Abdul Rahman Ghalib, a 28-year-old swimmer from Maldives Lifeguard Association, that successfully completed the swim, "Safety was great too. There were MNDF, Police and a Kayak present nearby. You feel very secure".
"I want everybody to try this, especially the locals, I want everybody to try swimming!" said Ahmed.
"Swimming itself is good exercise. The best exercise I know!"
Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed also attended the event, shaking hands and extending his congratulations to all the participants and organizers present.
Addressing the leading members of the initiative, the tourism minister stated that the sport of recreational swimming may be utilized to help promote the tourism industry, mentioning the possibility of future collaborations.
Speaking to The Edition, Shameem revealed Swim Maldives' plans to host an upcoming open-water swimming event, dubbed the 'Biosphere Swim'.
Set to take place within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Baa Atoll, during the first few weeks of February 2019, participants will begin their journey from Eydhafushi, heading northbound to Kendhoo.
The island-to-island swimming event aims to cover a total of 23 islands in a span of 10 days. Swimmers are expected to cover distances of approximately 5-7 kilometres a day while conducting awareness sessions during their stopovers.
14-year old Mohamed Aan Hussain, the youngest swimmer at the event and a senior swimmer for the national Swimming team, said it was not his first cross-island swim, having made his way from Villimale' to Male in 2015.
However, Aan added that the day's experience was "a lot of fun" as well as "easier because the current was towards Male".
Shameem, says Swim Maldives' was inspired by his own love for cross-country cycling and sports in general.
"We have plans to host a long distance event beginning from Maafushi to either Gulhi or Guraidhoo as well, though where to would depend on the direction of the current," said the decorated triathlon and aquathlon enthusiast.
Established in 2017, Swim Maldives is an organization of swimmers that actively promotes open water swimming in Maldives. The organization aims to both explore the oceans and spread awareness about protecting the environment.
Swim Maldives plans to regularly host monthly long-distance swim events, that will place across the Maldivian archipelago.