Swimming Matters takes a peek into some deep friendships that sustain India’s leading competitive swimmers, both in the pool and out.

Aaron D’Souza

Aaron with Sandeep Sejwal

As a 12 year old kid who had just come from Bombay to Bangalore to settle down in the heart of the sporting hub, I felt quiet unrealistic losing my friends back in my hometown of Dombivli, suburbs of Mumbai. I had nobody to look forward to but swimming!

As I spent more time at the pool than being at the school, I started developing more swimming pool friends than school friends and one person who stood out was Arjun JP!
Then I had the opportunity to be around one of the craziest person along the way, that was Sandeep Sejwal. Sandeep and I have been friends from the last 15 years! We have swam about 3 Asian Age Group, 3 Asian Games, 2 South Asian Games, 1 Commonwealth Games and over 15 Senior Nationals events!!
He was my go to for fun, support, encouragement, laughter and mentor and my bigger brother!!

Neel Roy

Neel with Srihari Nataraj

I think swimming helped me develop the greatest friendships in my life. Whether it be through surviving hard practices in training, or forming good-natured racing rivalries, there is definitely a high level of camaraderie in the sport.

The longest and most rewarding friendship swimming has given me is probably with Srihari Nataraj, who I first met at the Sub-Junior Nationals in 2011. We first raced each other then in Group IV, him representing Karnataka and me Maharashtra. It’s been quite a ride since those days. We’ve raced each other at national and international meets, and have pushed each other to get better in every aspect of our lives. He is my customary roommate on travel meets, and is one of the few people I am always in contact with.
The great thing about swimming is the lasting relationships it gives you long after you’re done competing, with your coaches and your peers. I can definitely attest to this fact!

Niranjan Mukundan

Niranjan with Sajan Prakash

Sajan Prakash and I have been close friends for a while now. It’s more like a brotherhood. We help each other in our professional goals and help each other grow. With just a year’s age difference between us, we always have things to fight about, things that are common between us. We have night outs together, party together, train with each other, support one another at competitions and much more over the years. He feels like a brother from another mother!

Nina Venkatesh

Nina with Naysa

One of the few people who have always supported me  – apart from my parents and my sister – is my school friend Naysa who has always stayed by my side since 2nd grade. We are the best of friends and meet up very often. She knows everything about me and related to swimming. She is very happy for me, picks me up when things get tough, and over all always there for me! Being a swimmer isn’t easy. I don’t go to school that often so it’s hard to keep friendships going and it’s easy to drift apart. However, we have always been close and I make a conscious effort to spend time with her and few others. Some things never change if it’s real!

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