Since last summer I have been having an inner urge of leveraging my passion in swimming to give back to the swimming community. So this year, I along with my friends came up with the idea of an annual student-run fundraiser initiative, TISB Swimathon to be held on 16th-18th Mar 2016 for the first time, wherein students will register and swim in the event and their sponsors will pledge to donate money per length swum by each swimmer. The school has fully endorsed the idea and has officially adopted it as the Organising sponsor and the event will be held under the aegis of the school. This way the whole school is participating, some by means of swimming and others by means of sponsoring the swimmers.

The proceeds raised will go to Special Olympics Bharat , the Indian affiliate of Special Olympics, Washington to help intellectually challenged athletes to be able to compete at national and international level, which in turn helps these athletes be more accepted and respected in society. The organisation sponsors and funds over 1 million athletes and their dreams to compete at an international level. Over 24,000 athletes from Special Olympics Bharat have competed at National games since 2002. At the Regional Asia Pacific Games in Australia, athletes from Special Olympics Bharat won 111 Gold, 136 Silver and 140 Bronze medals. The organisation, which has over 85,000 coaches and trainers, is spread throughout India and reaches 100,000 more athletes with every passing year.

Special Olympics was founded in the 1960s by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of former President of the United States of America, John F Kennedy. The idea was born out of Shriver’s experience of witnessing the social exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities who were routinely placed in custodial institutions.The vision of Special Olympics is to help bring all persons with intellectual disabilities into the larger society under conditions where they are accepted & respected.

“We have chosen Special Olympics as the beneficiary of the TISB Swimathon because as athletes, we believe that every human should have the right to compete in sports, regardless of their age, gender, race, religion or disability: physical or intellectual. That is why we, as athletes, are helping other athletes be athletes.”

We have a Facebook page for the event, fully designed by the students involved in this start-up event

Special Olympics Bharat is highly supportive and excited about TISB Swimathon and have recognised it on their Facebook page saying “Lets welcome Hridey Sahgal, a student of Class 11 of The International School Bangalore to the SO Bharat family..a passionate swimmer who thought of doing a fundraiser through swimathon for our Athletes..created a team with his peers…all of whom are equally sensitive and determined..received full support from his school..”will do more with SO Bharat” ..says he..A very warm welcome to you Hridey..Thanks very much!” Posted on 10th Feb 2016

This is an event offering an opportunity to the students and their friends & family across ages to contribute in their small way and help the intellectually challenged athletes achieve their dream.

In interest of building motivation towards the humane cause addressed by this TISB Swimathon fund raiser for Special Olympics Bharat, I am requesting your team for an appropriate coverage of the event in your esteemed media and create awareness of this initiative among a larger audience. This being the first year, we are opening the event to our school students only. With adequate publicity and success of the program, we plan on making it an inter-school event, thus making it a bigger and wider annual fund raiser in the world of swimming.