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Enthusiasm. Sport. Fun. It was a great success in Ostia for the inauguration of the SPQR open water swimming competition site, that the Municipality of Rome X gave to the Italian Swimming Federation in view of the European Aquatics Championships Roma 2022.

On this beach Gregorio Paltrinieri and other continental champions will take part in the open water swimming events from 18 to 21 August (5km, 10km, 25km and relays). On the same site, masters swimmers of all ages will compete in the natural waves of the Roman coastline from 24 to 26 August (3km) for the European Masters Championships.

'This is a truly unique opportunity,' says Bruno Campanile, Roma 2022 executive director. 'We will make the beach liveable in a different way, through the open water event, with top champions and athletes coming from all over Europe to take part in the continental event. The Europeans will be the most important competition in the summer for the Romans. We expect a lot of enthusiasm and attendance from the public. Rai and Sky will ensure a great TV coverage showing images of the competitions and the beautiful territory that will host them'.

To celebrate such an important event in the run-up to the Championships, for one day the SPQR free beach in Ostia became the main stage for the project 'Me and the water - swimming in safety. To avoid lots of troubles', designed by the Italian Swimming Federation and Roma 2022, in cooperation with the Harbour Office-Coast Guard, Civil Protection and the Fire Brigade. The Councillor for Sport of the Municipality Rome X Valentina Prodon attended the event at Eurobeach and said: 'Today we are inaugurating this space with a wonderful initiative dedicated to lifesaving, which puts the culture of water on a centre stage. The beach is a common good. All citizens will be able to freely access it and participate in the events that the Federation will organise in view of the Europeans this coming August. We hope to welcome many people here".

With this event, the Federation aims to promote the right behavious to follow when swimming in lakes, rivers, seas and swimming pools to prevent accidents and ensure the protection of human life. "We are living this beautiful day on the Ostia beach," commented Giampiero Mauretti, President of the Latium FIN Committee. "To avoid lots troubles" is an event that we are taking to all the beaches of the Latium Region at this start of the bathing season. The Federation's commitment is aimed at solving the dangers of the sea and raising awareness of the key role of lifeguards'.

This morning the event involved more than two hundred children that participated in five educational workshops: water safety, first aid, environmental protection, dog units, and competitive lifesaving activities. Protagonist of the day was Gastone, the Newfoundland dog chosen as one of the two living mascots of Rome 2022, in company of other rescue dogs who ran and wagged their tails to be cuddled by the young swimmers. The young participants received gadgets from 'Water and I - Swimming in safety. To avoid lots of troubles', a card that was filled with the stamps of the five educational topics and the certificate of 'Safe Bather'.

The event ended with an exhibition of rescue simulation at sea with the participation of FIN lifeguards and dog units using the main rescue tools: skates, stand up paddles, prone paddle boards, and floating spine boards.

Photos Diego Montano/DPM Deepbluemedia. Use of photographs is only permitted for publications registered for editorial purposes. Credits must be mentioned.

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