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Pay day for Vanderpool-Wallace

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard confirmed yesterday that swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will receive an incentive grant, after winning the bronze medal at the 7th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships, held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Maynard made the announcement during the courtesy call on Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham. Vanderpool-Wallace was surrounded by members of her family including her dad, Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, when Maynard made the announcement. Also in attendance were members of the Bahamas Olympic Committee(BOC)and Bahamas Swimming Federation(BSF) President Algernon Cargill.

According to Minister Maynard, the incentive grant, which Vanderpool-Wallace will receive is in accordance with the National Sports Policy. He said: ”We had the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister, along with Arianna and her family and offer congratulations on her success. This meeting also gave us an opportunity to really highlight the fact that we were one of 20 countries in the world that won a medal at the World Championships.

“We also got an opportunity to put in prospective and context how great her accomplishment was. It is huge for swimming and huge for The Bahamas. The Prime Minister remarked that it is things like this, that puts a small country on the map and makes us big in the eyes of the rest of the world. So we are going to continue to support her and encourage her as she continues in her process. Hopefully, the path that she is headed, Olympic medals are in her future.

The collegiate swimmer, Vanderpool-Wallace, finished third in the 50 meters(m)freestyle event and set a national record in the process. Her accomplishments ranked The Bahamas among the top 20. The bronze medal time was 24.04 seconds and is a personal best record for Vanderpool-Wallace, who is in her junior year at Auburn University. Also competing at the championships were Alana Dillette and Elvis Vereance Burrows.

“It is a nice feeling,” said Vanderpool-Wallace.”Honestly, I had no idea that it was going to happen. I just wanted to go in there and swim nice times, so to come out with a medal, it is an amazing feeling. It was really just a laid back relaxed feeling. It was three of us, Alana Dillette, Vereance Burrows and myself. The entire time we were so relaxed about everything that was going on, happy about the best times that we were swimming. So I couldn’t ask for a better meet.

“Hopefully, I can produce better times. Every time I get into the pool I work on something that I know I need to work on. So, hopefully, every time I swim in a meet I will have faster times.”

She has already qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games, set to be held in London, England.”Anything can happen, but I am excited to see what happens. I really don’t know,”added Vanderpool-Wallace, referring to the 2012 Olympic Games.

Vanderpool-Wallace will jump back into the pool when she returns to school.

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