Gold and Green in the 44th Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championships
Setonians, once again, never failed to strive for excellence in the 44th Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championships held last December 17-19, 2023 in The Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The said competition is considered to be one of the major and biggest events for Philippine swimmers. They undergo various qualifying competitions, and the Philippine Swimming Incorporated will discern and select the top swimmers most fitting to represent the country. This competition is usually held during December after all countries are finished selecting their respective representatives. The previous 43rd SEA AGE championships took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with Matthew Alumbres and Kaniezia Malijan.
“Going into the competition was very nerve-racking as it hasn’t even been a month since I got back to my daily training. It felt as if I was going to war with a gun and no bullets while the opposing side already had their machine guns ready to fire. I was tasked to lead as one of the team captains of the Junior National Philippine Team by the head coach. I was given a responsibility to attend to and take care of my teammates and especially my younger juniors,” said by one of the seniors of the Junior Philippine Team, Matthew Alumbres, on how he felt during the competition itself. Matthew Alumbres is considered to be one of the oldest Setonian swimmers that has competed in several major competitions such as the Palarong Pambansa.
“Months before the competition, even before the final roster of competitors came out, my coaches from the Seton Swim Team prepared me for the competition because I made the podium in the Grand-Prix National Championships. The training was very harsh plus when the official list of swimmers for the competition was released, we had special training sessions every Saturday and Sunday. In total I had to train about 8 times a week in preparation for the competition,” said by one of the rookies of the Junior Philippine Team, Matt Nerison, on how the preparation went prior to this major competition. Matt Nerison is considered to be one of the Juniors of Seton Saints that surprised a lot with his commendable performance despite the effects of the pandemic.
These talented athletes were able to raise our flag along with the other Southeast Asian countries, improve their times, and were able to swim their best. Now, the Grand Prix Qualifying Competitions await all the Philippine swimmers for another year of skill and speed.