One of the most loved activities throughout the world; people of all ages indulge in the swimming, as it is ideally one of the best ways to exercise all the muscles of the body without any additional pressure. Regular swimming builds muscle strength, endurance and also enhances the cardio-vascular fitness of the person. Swimming usually is multidimensional - while some indulge in swimming for recreation, there are others who take it up as a competitive sport, yet others for whom swimming is a means of earning their daily livelihood. In India, swimming is widely popular in all the three aspects - as a general activity, sporting event as well as occupational reasons.
Talking about swimming as a competitive sport, it has been a part of the modern Olympic Games, since inception in 1896. Governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), the goal of the competition is to be the fastest over a given distance. Swimming became extremely popular in the 19th century and since then there has been no looking back. In India, competitive swimming is managed by the Swimming Federation of India (SFI), an apex body that is affiliated to FINA, the world governing body. SFI is the result of an amalgamation of National Swimming Association (NSA) and the Indian Swimming Federation (ISF). To get detailed information about swimming as a sport in India, read through this section.