Youngsters in the state rarely take up swimming seriously, opined former international swimmer Sumi Cyriac who was on a visit to the Sports Hub here on Saturday. “Swimming is a good sport that provides people better health and agility. Our students should be encouraged to learn and practice it,” she said during an interactive session with the participants and parents of the summer class in swimming at the Sports Hub.

Recalling her own experience in coaching, Sumi said youngsters are least interested in rigorous training. “It is indeed tiring to do heavy workouts. But only those who are ready to take the pain with happiness can succeed,” she said during her session with students at The Sports Hub Academy (May 06, 2018).

Sumi said her coaching facility International Swimmer Sumi Cyriac Academy at her residence in Changanassery was established to promote young talents. “This year, no one turned up for the summer class while we had 10 students last year. Children are reluctant to do hard work,” she said.

To a poser, Sumi listed the essential qualities for a good swimmer — passion for the sport, hard work, God’s grace and humility. “Humility is more important than you think to become a successful swimmer. Don’t get success go to your head when you win a state title. Instead, you should set new goals like national/international wins,” she said.

Sumi said the state syllabus would be more convenient for students who take up swimming seriously. She shifted her children from the ICSE syllabus to the state syllabus for the same reason. “But such decisions should be a joint decision of the parents and in consultation with the child. The children should also be ensured good coaching facilities. Eight records in my name in all Indian inter-university aquatics remain unchallenged. This points out the dearth of fresh talent,” she said.

About 400 students are attending the swimming class at the summer camp at Sports Hub.Sumi led the day’s coaching at the camp. More than 1,000 children in the age group of 6 to 17 years are attending different classes at the camp

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