Besides teaching, Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB) professors Elaine Espindola of the Department of Modern Foreign Letters (DLEM) and Marsilio Onofre of the Department of Music (Demus) also share another passion: swimming. In swimming pools or open water, they excelled in local and national competitions.
This month, for example, both won several medals. Elaine topped the podium in six different events at the North East Master Swimming Trophy in the capital city of Paraíba. 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle, 4×50 medley and 4×50 freestyle, 100m medley and 100m freestyle.
not longIn the 7th round of the Copa Brasil de Águas Abertas, held in Olinda (PE), the swimmer took the 1st place in his category in the 1.5 km race and the 3rd place in the 2.5 km race. “It’s definitely great to be able to compete with teammates from different parts of Brazil, in addition to the fact that it’s super fun to reap the results of the training,” Marsilio shared.
This weekend, UFPB teacher-athletes have a chance to extend the feat. Tomorrow (27) and Sunday (28) Elaine, a Masters competitor, will compete in the Paraibano Absoluto Championships in João Pessoa, where swimmers of all age groups from 19 and up will gather and the Marsillion XXVII Northern Championships, North East Midwest Swimming Masters in Natal.
At age 10, Elaine, who has been a professor at UFPB for five years, started swimming in Santa Catarina, where she lived, because of bronchitis. “I have played tennis, basketball (although I am not 1.60 m tall), handball, but I found myself in swimming,” said the teacher.
After two decades, she returned to the pool in early 2021, prompted by her daughter taking up the sport, and a year later she did not disappoint in competition. He, who had never swam in the sea, started experimenting with open water swimming last year. In May of this year, he participated Passing the naval battle of Riachuelocompetition that took place in João Pessoa and was on the podium 2Oh female common place and 3Oh Overall place for the 1km race (between men and women).
Photo by Felipe de Freitas
Marsilio’s swimming history is much more recent, but also remarkable. She says she started swimming “from scratch” at a swim school in 2017 in search of a better quality of life. At the end of the following year he started competing and has been ever since He collected medals and trophies in the sea and in the pool.
“More than a sport, swimming is a way of life. Trying to juggle healthy workouts, proper nutrition, and work, family, and exercise is a big challenge. Furthermore, although it is an individual sport, the team aspect of swimming is very important. All this is still very new to me, because I was not an athlete in my childhood,” he announced.
Establishing a relationship between teaching and sports, Elaine sees both as sources of strength and energy in her life. “For me, the parallel is in the importance of being role models for our students/counselors, both in the pool and in the classroom. It is important to have a career, but also to have an outlet where you can also take care of your body and emotions,” he assessed.
For Marsilio, a professor at UFPB for 15 years, the two activities are similar in terms of the commitment they require. “Both swimming and teaching need continuous improvement, they require a lot of dedication and effort, both physical and intellectual,” he observed.
It was within the pools and the sea that the friendship between Professors Marsilio and Elaine, who are currently training together in the capital city of Paraíba, was born. The professor does not hide his desire to be able to participate in the swimming team at UFPB itself. “There are quite a few athletes on the UFPB staff, it would be great to get all these people to train together.”
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Reported by Milena Dantas
Editing by Aline Lins
Photos: Personal Archive/Felipe de Freitas