Swim for clean seas
About 150 participants took part in the last edition of the Swim For Clean Seas. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Families and friends are invited to join the third annual Swim For Clean Seas event, set to take place at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort on Saturday and do their part to protect marine life and combat ocean pollution.

Launched in 2018 by siblings Felicia and Almer Agmyren, both keen open-water swimmers, Swim for Clean Seas aims to raise awareness about ocean pollution by engaging the community in fun, interactive activities and encouraging them to take a swim in the blue waters of Saadiyat Island.

Promoting fitness and environmentally friendly practices, the annual event is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi-based real estate company, Rex Real Estate. Proudly coming on-board as new sponsors for 2022 are also battery pioneer Britishvolt and Lenskart.

Perils of plastics

Starting at 7am, Swim For Clean Seas will feature engaging talks from marine biologists that explore why we must strive to protect our ocean resources. For instance, representatives from Azraq, the non-profit marine conservation organisation that aims to protect, defend and conserve marine life in the UAE and further afield, will be explaining the perils of single use plastics and how it damages our oceans and the animals that live in them. EN-WWF will also host educational youth activities throughout the morning, while Swim for Clean Sea’s iconic female swim ambassador Dr. Sarra Lajnef OLY, the first Tunisian Olympic qualified swimmer and Fina athletes Safeguarding Council Member, will also be taking part in the swim.

Open to swimmers aged eight and above, people of all abilities are invited to take part in the 200, 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200-metre races. A social but competitive event, prizes will be awarded for winners and there will also be a raffle draw. Only 150 swimmers are able to take part and, with last year’s event reaching full capacity, early registration is strongly encouraged.

Swim for clean seas1
Winners of the last edition of Swim For Clean Seas. The annual event is aimed at protecting marine life and combating ocean pollution. Image Credit: Supplied

Further enhancing the family-friendly event, a guest artist will be highlighting the cause of the campaign by creating an exclusive, limited-edition ‘Swim For Clean Seas’ NFT art collection. Depicting children of different nationalities by the beautiful blue Arabian Gulf, the series symbolises that protecting the oceans for future generations is a collective responsibility. As an added incentive, those who purchase any of the striking digital art works and gifts will automatically receive a place in one of the swimming races.

Felicia Agmyren, co-founder of Swim for Clean Seas and managing partner of Rex Real Estate, says: “We launched our event in the UAE capital to help raise awareness about ocean pollution and why it’s important that we do all we can to clean them up and avoid any further damage.

Interactive games

“One summer while we were swimming in the Messina strait in Italy, my brother and I noticed that the health of the ocean was diminishing. We all know that the oceans not only cover 70 per cent of our planet, but also provide around 70 per cent of the vital oxygen we breathe — so it’s vital we nurture, protect and maintain our ocean health. Swim for Clean Seas is a way to engage people from all across the community. We invite them to enjoy a healthy swim and learn about small changes that we can all easily make in our daily lives that will help our oceans to thrive.”

This year, interactive games at the event include ‘beach safari bingo’ and a ‘nurdle hunt’. These children’s activities are free to attend.

Felicia adds: “While the ‘nurdle hunt’ sounds like fun, and undoubtedly will be, it’s a chance to teach kids about how these nurdles — tiny plastic pellets found in all our oceans and littering beaches — are persistent, pervasive, toxic and harmful to aquatic and bird life as they are often mistake for food. It’s an opportunity for everyone to do their bit and clean the beach up whilst learning about the problems of global plastic production.”