PSL inks MOU for Cape meet

(The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2013 - 12:00am

Cape Town, South Africa – Philippine Swimming League chairman and Consul (a.h.) of Georgia in the Philippines Buddy Cunanan and Sandra Reynolds, executive member for marketing and public relations of Western Province Aquatics, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the participation of the PSL in the WPA Swimming Gala to be held in the University of the Western Cape Aquatics Center, in Cape Town Feb. 8-9, 2014.

The MOU, signed at the UWC, was witnessed by Glen Bentley, UWC aquatics manager, and Steven Chaimowitz, Honorary Consul of the Philippines in Cape Town.

Prior to the signing, Consul Cunanan and Reynolds, accompanied by Consul Chaimowitz, inspected the UWC swimming pool and grounds and identified possible areas to be reserved for the visiting Philippine delegation and community.

“This is a momentous occasion for Philippine swimming,” said Consul Cunanan. “It will be the first time Filipino swimmers will compete in South Africa and perhaps even the entire African continent. For years, Philippine amateur swimming has languished and deteriorated. But our participation in South Africa, the first of several overseas major engagements slated for 2014, heralds a new beginning for us and our renewed presence in the international scene. These engagements will give our swimmers valuable international exposure and experience.”

Consul Cunanan thanked WPA for its friendship and support and bared the PSL’s other major foreign competitions for the first half of 2014. Aside from the upcoming tourney in South Africa, the PSL will have swim meets in Georgia, Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany.The PSL-WPA tie-up is also a major milestone for the South Africans.

“WPA warmly welcomes the PSL and we are proud to have their swimmers match up against our own athletes. This will also be the first time our organization will work with an overseas federation. It is truly a special occasion and the beginning of close PSL-WPA cooperation and Philippine-South African relations,” said Reynolds.

With the signing of the MOU, PSL president and coach Susan Papa is preparing PSL’s line-up for the Cape Town meet. “Having recently arrived from our participation in the Royal Bangkok Swimming championships, where our swimmers won over two dozen medals, we are raring to go to Cape Town. This is a new frontier for us and naturally, we’re very excited to compete in South Africa. We are eager to make a mark in Africa and build lasting friendships with our partners in that continent.”

The PSL delegation will be composed of 25 athletes and officials and is scheduled to arrive in Cape Town a few days before the actual competition to give the swimmers time to acclimatize and get used to the time difference. In the evening of Feb. 7, the eve of the competition, a banquet at the UWC is being planned by the Filipino community in Cape Town and WPA to officially welcome the Philippine delegation. Consul Chaimowitz is working with the Filipino community, led by Mario Desamparado and Amy Friedrichsen, to lend all possible support to the visiting PSL tankers. Aside from the WPA swimming gala, Consuls Cunanan and Chaimowitz are also preparing several informal friendly matches between the PSL and local Cape Town community swimming associations.

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