By Tamas Mondovics

SportsGirlsIMGM9758In its continued effort to raise awareness and fund its drowning prevention initiative, the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) successfully hosted its annual Dash and Splash Aquathon earlier this month.

Close to 100 residents, young and old, many who are members of BSAC and the center’s Blue Wave swim program, took an active part in the timed event consisting of a two mile run, quarter mile swim and a one mile run for adults that was held  at the facility located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon.

BSAC officials were proud to host the contest for the third time in a row as an important event for both the center as well as it is for the community.

“This event is in support of our Youth Drowning Prevention initiative,” said Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center Director of Operations, Lori Bukaweski. “All proceeds go toward providing swim lessons to families who cannot afford them.”

Bukaweski said that participation was a bit more this year versus the previous two years, which is a good sign for the community’s interest in supporting BSAC’s goals.

“This event is all about safety and it sends out that message,” she said. SportsGirlSwimIMGM9748

For children ages 7 to 10 the event featured a half mile run, 100 meter swim, while children ages 11 to 14 were able to take part in a one mile run, 200 meter swim.

Fourteen-year-old, Burns Middle School student and Blue Wave swimmer Noah Lemar, enjoyed the spotlight and the trophy that came with winning the race in his age group.

“I love this event,” Lemar said adding that while he felt good during the run portion of the race, being a swimmer helped him to win first place.

“Last year I didn’t do as good, but I made up for it this time,” he said.

Fellow Blue Wave swimmer Leila Kaldani, 10, also took part in the race and said that running was also a bit hard, but once in the pool she did not have any difficulties.

“I felt great when I got in the cold water,” she said adding, “I got my second wind.”

Both athletes emphasized that they love the annual event and will be ready to participate again next year.

For more information, call 689-0908.