Sulawesi【Sea×Marine Sports】Report



Umitomachi: Sea and Marine Sport in Indonesia 

Today, I would like to bring you to a different side of Sulawesi. To a city called Makassar, the capital city of South of Sulawesi.


In Makassar, you will find various Marine Sports activities, from Jetski, Water Polo, Diving, to Kayaking — in fact many national Kayaking athlete’s in Indonesia actually come from Sulawesi. 


Here,I am introducing to you a different but common sport which is swimming, but called Open Water Swimming in the ocean. With a few active communities doing this sport. Makassar Watersports Community was founded in 2014 by 3 people who love swimming and it grew to have 20 people from different professions, workers and business owners. They also have swimmers who were former athletes (Water Polo athletes) and now training athletes competing in seawater tournaments across Indonesia (competing in PON: Pekan Olahraga Nasional: the National Sports Week in Papua in the Disability program) and also in other International tournaments.

それでは皆さんに、一般的なスポーツですがちょっと異なる水泳、海でのオープンウォータースイミングを紹介します。いくつか活動している団体の一つ、マカッサルウォータースポーツコミュニティは2014年に3人の水泳好きが発足、様々な職業の労働者や経営者が集まり、今では20名のメンバーです。また、メンバーには元アスリート(水球アスリート)がいて、現在はインドネシア全土の海水トーナメント(PON:Pekan Olahraga Nasional:パプアの障害者プログラムの全国スポーツウィーク)やその他の国際トーナメントに出場するアスリートをトレーニングしている参加者もいます。

The community continued to expand, and currently in 2020 – 2021, the members get together 3 times a week, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to practice a swimming route routine. They swim regularly from a port named Popsa, to an island called Gusung Island (1,6 km – 2 km length) and by traveling through the lighthouse with an additional 2 – 4 km.

マカッサルウォータースポーツコミュニティは年々大きくなって、2020-2021年にはメンバーが火曜・木曜・土曜日の週3回集まって、水泳ルートのルーチン練習をしていました。通常ポプサ港からグソン島まで(1.6km -2kmの距離)や、灯台経由でさらに2 – 4kmの距離を泳ぎます。

My guest today is Mr. Sudirman Dirman, a dedicated Makassar Watersports Community Program Coordinator, who was formerly in the military and joined the watersports community two years ago as he fell in love with the ocean and the spirit of the community. 

As he says, “We practice swimming, but our community feels like family. We don’t focus on politics, differences of race, or religion but really enjoy our time together.”

Here is a video of their weekly activities: swimming to an island. As seen here, you will find the younger swimmers get off the boat and swim further, while the older you are, they drive the boat closer to the island to make the swimming route shorter. 


私たちは水泳の練習をしていますが、私たちのコミュニティは家族のようです。 政治、人種の違い、宗教の違いは関係なく、本当に一緒の時間を楽しんでいます。」


Open Water Swimming for All Age

The activity of Open Water Swimming is for all age: 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years old and they swim for a distance of 2 to 6 km from the main port in Makassar in the center city called Popsa Port to various different islands: Gusung, Lai Lai, Samalona, and Kayangan. 



Eating Together

After reaching the island and swimming together, they continue to celebrate by eating together. They usually eat twice, earlier in the day they would have snacks, and the local snacks might look like, bread,  Jalangkote (a type of pastry filled with vegetables), a fermented cassava drink, and noodles served with water, tea, or coffee. 

After the big swim, usually, the locals in the island have options of fresh fishes that the local fisherman caught, so Makassar Watersport Community members would buy the fishes and have them grilled, the fishes and seafood you will find are red and white snapper, grouper, and large shrimps. They serve the fishes with rice and sauteed vegetables, and often they would eat something called ‘Lawi-Lawi’, known as seaweed or also called as seagrapes, where they serve this seaweed with shallots, garlic, chili, and ripe mangoes. 





Social and Charity Events  

Other than swimming and enjoying food together, Makassar Watersport Community also believes in giving back to the community. So they have a number of social and charity events that they do. One thing they do is, Giving Back (Charity) of Food Necessities to the local community of the island they visited (Gusung and Sinjai Island). 

They also ensure that since there are a lot of local tourists that visit the beach they give back by cleaning the litter and waste found around the island and beaches. They also clean the ocean water from garbage, and find a way to protect Marine Life. In the picture below, you will find a Makassar Watersport Community member who bought a sea turtle that was to be sold in a market, and released it back into the ocean. They also saved sea turtles that were wounded and helped healed them before releasing them back to the ocean. Also, because of climate changes, we know that there has been whitening of coral due to the rise in temperature, causing the coral to die. So the Makassar Watersport Community occasionally plants corals in the ocean. Other than that, they provide the swimming fishes by giving tiny shrimps which locally they call as ‘Ambari’ 




Mr. Dirman, as program coordinator, believes that being part of the community has helped him and many others who take part in it. The community feels like a family, and when they join, they come with a light heart and head because they leave their problems behind and focus on having fun. The feeling of warmth and communion takes over as they share their experience and motivation with each other. He mentions regular swimming also brings a lot of health benefits, it has helped people with arthritis, people with irregular nerve systems, and has helped them feel fresh and overall healthy. Swimming in water is not just recreational, being in the water and ocean  it becomes a necessity and a form of therapy for the Makassar Watersports Community members. 

And so, because Indonesia is an archipelagic country with a lot of islands and biodiversity, he welcomes everyone to come to Makassar and experience the open waters together!

プログラムコーディネーターのディルマンさんは、コミュニティの一員であることで、彼自身とそれに参加する他の多くの人々を助けたと信じています。 コミュニティは家族のように感じています。参加すると、彼らは日常の問題を置き去りにして楽しむことに集中するので、心と体が軽くなります。経験とモチベーションを共有することは、お互いの暖かさが交差する感覚になります。 定期的な水泳も多くの健康上の利点をもたらし、関節炎の人々、不規則な神経痛の人々を助け、多くの人が健康であると感じるのを助けたと述べています。 我々の水泳は単なるレクリエーションではありません。海で泳ぐことは、マカッサルウォータースポーツコミュニティのメンバーにとって必要不可欠であり、治療の一形態になります。


Video Credit: Makassar Watersports Community

Photo Credit: Makassar Watersports Community dan Digdaya Serba


アティナ ・ディンダ / Athina Dinda

異文化を学ぶことやアートとデザインが好きです。 英国とインドネシアの文化関連団体で芸術プログラムのマネージメントに携り、現在、コミュニティベースのデザインとイノベーションに焦点を当てた文化、芸術、科学、技術の組織(CAST 財団)でも働いている。

Follow me!