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Making Memories at a Swimming Competition in India

Elizabeth standing in front of a pool, smiling
Elizabeth at her school’s swimming pool.

By Elizabeth, YES Abroad 2022-2023, India.

One unexpected highlight from my program in India began during the first few weeks of the program. As a swimmer, I’m very lucky that my host school has a pool and, shortly after I arrived, there was a swimming competition! I was excited to watch. 

A swimming pool with palm trees in the background.
A view of Elizabeth’s school’s swimming pool lanes.

The morning of the competition my house captain (each class is broken up into different “teams” or “houses”) asked if I was interested in participating. I happily agreed to join the games and, within a couple of hours, the games were on!

As I was preparing, I took one peak out into the audience. There was a sea of students in the audience and swimmers preparing near the pool. It was one of the most overwhelming moments of my life. Fortunately, I had a friend who helped calm my nerves. With their support I went back in the locker room and got ready. It was time to compete and have a good time.

I competed in several events that day: breaststroke, backstroke, and relay. It was a packed day! I was proud of my performance, coming in second or third place in breaststroke and first place in the relay! My friends were having a fun time watching me too and were visibly surprised at my swimming skills. I can still see the expressions on their face --it was so funny! The experience was really such a blast. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to compete that day and am glad I joined the games. It was an experience I will never forget.