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20 July, 2024
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First Winter Swimmer's Festival makes a splash

The event, held in Ayia Napa, gains momentum towards international status


In a pioneering event, the inaugural Winter Swimmers Festival unfolded in Ayia Napa on Sunday, attracting the participation of up to 200 winter swimmers from across Cyprus. Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumis, pledged his support to propel the festival to international acclaim.

Organized by the Winter Swimmers Club of Ayia Napa in collaboration with the Municipality of Ayia Napa, the festival marked a significant step toward promoting year-round seaside activities. Koumis, addressing the gathering, highlighted the challenge of a seasonal dip in coastal visits after summer and emphasized the need for initiatives to keep people engaged throughout the year.

Acknowledging this, Koumis unveiled a special grant scheme from the Deputy Ministry, designed to empower local authorities in enhancing beach services. The aim is to mitigate the impact of the tourism downturn during the colder months.

Mayor Christos Zannettou, in his welcoming speech, revealed that Ayia Napa Municipality responded to organized swimmers' requests by stationing lifeguards at Makronissos beach during the winter season. This move seeks to ensure the safety of individuals indulging in sea swimming year-round.

The Ayia Napa Winter Swimmers Club envisions an annual January festival, with plans to establish a Cyprus Association of Winter Swimmers. Andreas Larkou, the club's president, outlined ambitious goals for the festival's future. Starting in 2025, the event will be internationally branded, attracting winter swimmers from around the globe. Larkou also disclosed intentions to extend the festival's duration, allowing participants to explore and swim at different beaches each day.

As the festival gains momentum, the collaboration between local authorities, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, and winter swimmers sets a precedent for expanding the scope of seaside activities in Cyprus beyond the traditional tourist season.

Cyprus  |  sports

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