Glenmark Aquatic Foundation, a CSR activity of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited, and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) have announced a 12-year partnership to promote the full spectrum of swimming from grass roots development to competitive swimming KISS- Bhubaneswar, in the state of Odisha.
This partnership will provide students from KISS and KIIT the opportunity to learn swimming and pursue it as a competitive sport. Ian Els, an experienced South African coach, will be leading the programme will follow the principles of globally accepted long-term athlete development (LTAD) to produce international swimmers for Odisha and India.
Aquatic sports has the maximum number of medals at the Olympics. India has strong potential to excel in this sport and to achieve this, we need a programme with a long-term vision and a framework for success. The partnership between KISS and GAF is an initiative to realise India’s swimming ambitions.
Under this partnership, Glenmark Aquatic Foundation (GAF) will provide training for swimmers at KISS & KIIT, and in addition will train swim coaches in LTAD principles and serve as a skill development program for aspiring coaches. To begin with GAF will engage 10 former swimmers (5 boys and 5 girls) of KISS to be trained as swim coaches.
Glenn Saldanha, Founder, Glenmark Aquatic Foundation, said, “This is a unique partnership and a first in Indian swimming. This is the first grassroots initiative for GAF and shows the way forward for us. Universities and schools are the breeding grounds for elite athletes across the world and this partnership will use best practises to train the swimmers. The infrastructure for sport here is world class and we are delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to work with KISS and KIIT which are exceptional initiatives undertaken by Prof. Samanta
Commenting on the partnership, Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences said, “KISS has always attached great importance to sports and the Odisha Government has been very supportive about promoting sports. Our athletes have won laurels in international competitions in other sports and we want the same to happen in swimming. We believe, with our partnership with GAF, KISS and Odisha will produce world class swimmers.”
Among others, Chairman & Managing Director, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. & Founder Glenmark Aquatics Foundation Glenn Saldanha; Founder of Glenmark Aquatics Foundation Neha Saldanha, President, Swimming Federation of India R N Jayprakash; Vice President Kamlesh Nanavati; Secretary General Monal Choksi were present on the occasion.