By Steven V. Selthoffer, Swimming World’s Chief European Columnist
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, July 7. AQUATIC sports continue to grow and show excellent progress in Kuwait with the conclusion of the Kuwait National Championships. One of the main architects of Kuwait’s success is Moeman Abdallah Arafa, Head Coach, High Performance/Senior Swimmers, KAZMA Swimming Sharks, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Moeman is an ASCA Level 5 coach. He has been consistently building, step-by-step, day-by-day an aquatic program that is continually producing top level results at the age group and national levels.
Kuwaiti National Championships
KAZMA Swimming Sharks won the Kuwaiti national championship team title with 821 points. And in a close contest for second and third team scores on the last day, second place went to the Kuwait Sports Club with 675 points, and third was Arabi Sports Club with 646.
KAZMA walked away from the championships with 34 gold, 13 silver, and 4 bronze medals and a new championship record in the 200 medley relay of 2:03.67. The team consisted of team manager: Tallal Al Katan, Swimming Director: Mohammed Qamber and swimmers: Ali Bo Abbas, Arabian Gulf record holder, 200 IM and Arabian Gulf Champion, 14 & Under age group), other Arabian Gulf Champions include: Abdurrahman Al Hagri, Rashed Al Askari, Hassan Qmaber, Youssef el Askari with Ahmed Boaroki, Akil Noah, Omar Soliman, Walid Al Obied, Abdurahman Radwan and Fawaz Al Kandri contributing to the podium places, rounding out the championship team.
The Kuwaiti government, the Kuwait National Olympic Committee and the Kuwaiti Swimming Federation are committed to growing aquatics and Olympic sports in the country. The Kuwaiti National Championships also included diving and water polo, both won by KAZMA. All of the Olympic sports are important to Moeman. “You just never know where the talent is going to come from.”
Moeman and his KAZMA team have been training in an old 25 meter, 6 lane facility, but all of that is expected to change soon. The new aquatic complex construction will be completed in August 2014. It is expected to be the largest and most modern aquatic complex in Kuwait with the goal of being home to the future Olympic Training Center.
Aquatics is Growing in Kuwait
Because of coaches like Arafa and others, aquatics and specifically swimming is a growing sport in Kuwait and the Middle East. Consequently, it has been receiving strong support from the top down.
Mr. Husain Al Musallam, Vice President, FINA and Mr. Hussein Bo Eskander along with all national federation members were in attendance at the championships.
Mr. Al Musallam, who is from Hawalli, Kuwait, is Chairman and Bureau Liaison, National Federations Relations Committee for FINA 2013-2017 and is on the Olympic Council of Asia.
He is no doubt pleased with the results and Moeman’s strategic efforts and long term plans to grow aquatics in Kuwait from the ground up, using best-methods and best-practices.
Sjostrom’s World Record
Moeman has been watching and commenting on the Swedish National Championships lately and Sarah Sjostrom’s new 50m Fly World Record. “It’s a really incredible swim.” With the posted video available online, all of the Kuwaiti swimmers are learning from it. Their focus is on the top, and hopefully in a couple years we will be seeing a few KAZMA Swimming Sharks in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The best is yet to come.