• Mon. Oct 11th, 2021

Swimming enthusiasts bring a new dimension to outdoor activities on Kochi beaches

ByMarcia F. Taylor

Aug 23, 2021

They turn pandemic borders into opportunity with services like beach cleaning

A group of swimming enthusiasts at Puthuvype Beach in Kochi, Kerala have turned pandemic borders into an opportunity to clean up the beach and promote outdoor leisure activities in line with COVID-19 protocol.

The Vypeen Beach Club was established over three years ago to help promote outdoor activities to those who are interested. The aim is to help people overcome fear of the sea, which faces various threats from human intervention, said Shammy Chakravarthy, one of the club’s first members.

“Whether it’s training people to swim or cleaning the beach, you get to understand the sea better,” said Chakravarthy, who works with a software company at InfoPark. “Those who get to know the sea become more environmentally friendly, in addition to realizing the need to protect our environment,” he added.

Akhil S. Pai, an engineer who helped build a masonry robot, said he was interested in outdoor activities and so joined the Beach Club. However, pandemic restrictions kept him away from them. In addition, swimming is reduced when the sea becomes rough after the rain.

Although the COVID-19 protocol resulted in a virtual halt to activities on the beach, members of the Beach Club gathered on Independence Day to hoist the national flag and clean up Puthuvype Beach, located near the LNG terminal.

Mr Chakravarthy said one of the club’s activities is collecting driftwood and using it to put up decorations on the beach. For example, a large swing was installed on the beach using driftwood.

Dominic Simenti, an avid swimmer, said he joined the club because he liked to train people to swim. He added that he offered instruction to people on the essentials of swimming.

Mr Chakravarthy said that staying afloat in the middle of the waves takes skill and provides a means of great relaxation for those who play sports and emphasizes the importance of outdoor activities.

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