The Bahamas to field a large swim team for the Goodwill Games
Fresh off their second place finish at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships (CCCAN), The Bahamas’ swim team is ready for the 2018 Goodwill Games Swim Meet which will be held at the National Aquatics Center in Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados, from August 17-19.
In addition to The Bahamas, Suriname, St. Lucia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and host nation Barbados will all field teams. The host has extended an invitation to Jamaica as well, but is yet to receive a response from that nation.
The meet will feature five age categories – eight-and-under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17. The Head Coach for The Bahamas’ team is Shirley Mireault. She expects the team to do well.
“We should do very well this year. We got some really good swimmers and it’s only four per age group and everybody is in every relay,” she said.
As of now, the team members from New Providence are training at the Betty
Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Centre here in New Providence. The Grand Bahamian team which comprises of 14 members are training in Grand Bahama. As time winds down, the team will come together and train together.
Maxwell Daniels, an eight-and-under swimmer, is representing his country for the first time. He said he is looking forward to getting some medals and breaking records. His specialty is freestyle events.
Freestyle and butterfly specialist Taliyah Burrows said she has been representing The Bahamas for the past four years. She is swimming in the 9-10 category. Like Daniels, she hopes to break records and swim faster times.
Giann Sands is representing The Bahamas for the first time. She is swimming in the 11-12 category. She is looking for first place finishes only and to drop her times. Her specialty is freestyle events.
In the 13-14 girls category, Liyah Moncur will be representing The Bahamas. She swam for The Bahamas in the 2016 Goodwill Games and she was on the 2017 CARIFTA team. Her specialty is backstroke events.
“I am looking forward to my relay team doing well. I am also looking forward to getting some CCCAN times and CARIFTA cuts for next year so I will be able to make the team,” said Moncur.
Over in the older category of 15-17, Ricardo Jolly is looking to do well. He feels it is going to be a good meet. He wants to win as much medals as possible and improve his times. He said he feels confident that he can do that.
Despite this being the 24th edition of the meet, this is just The Bahamas’ fifth time participating. There were just seven athletes who participated for The Bahamas in its first showing at the meet. Mireault is looking to have 38-40 members on the team this year.
In the first three years, The Bahamas was a guest at the games. This year, they are going as a full member nation.
The team relies heavily on corporate sponsorship for funding.