| Children take a splash in a swimming pool of a hotel in Bhubaneswar.
Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee |
Bhubaneswar, May 3: Even in this IPL season cricket doesn’t seem to be the best entertainment option for many in the capital.
For residents “splash” has become a healthier alternative than a “six”, and a “dive into the water” is turning out to be a better option than “diving for the ball”.
With no signs of rain and the weatherman predicting a scorching summer, their latest sports mantra has become swimming.
Apart from being a great way to cool off this summer, the fitness-conscious residents are considering swimming to any other sport as it provides a great workout and is one of the best forms of exercise.
Even till a few years ago the presence of just one public pool — the Biju Patnaik Swimming Pool at the Kalinga Stadium — kept many people away from swimming. This was a cue for many plush hotels in the capital to open up their pools for one and all.
But in order to retain their posh status, the pool packages at these plush hotels come at a hefty price tag. The residents, however, do not mind splurging on this water sport and an increasing number of people visit these swimming pools.
The registration fees start from Rs 3,000 and gives you the opportunity to be in the lap of aqua luxury for an hour. Some even offer family packages that can go up to Rs 25,000 annually. There are also monthly, quarterly and half yearly schemes.
The high-end hotels also offer facilities such as jet shower bath coupled with gym facilities.
A number of summer camps meant for children are also organising swimming lessons for kids during the school break.
“In just a few years our swimming pool members have almost doubled. Initially, it was just kids and teenagers but now men and women of all age groups are showing their inclination for this sport,” said Sushmita Das, assistant manager of a well-known hotel in Kharavela Nagar.
The residents look forward to the popularisation of swimming in Bhubaneswar. “We should have more swimming pools in the city. It is a fun summer sport and is also good for our health,” said Trupti, a college student.
For many people, swimming is also turning out to be a great opportunity to socialise.
“Spending time in the pool in a group is great fun. We exchange stories, compete with each other in fun races and crack jokes, which makes it a rewarding experience,” says Rahul, another college student.