Swift Athletics Head Coach Andrew Tynes said he expects quite a few international medals and trophies to be in The Bahamas’ future in track and field, thanks in part to the vast amount of athletic potential within the BAAA-sanctioned track and field club. Swift Athletics is one of the many clubs in the country under the umbrella of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA).
Tynes said: “Swift Athletics got its start four years ago. We normally take on about 40 kids, but this year we have 55, and the amount of talent in that pool is undeniable.”
A former Olympian and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion, Tynes said he is proud of the effect the club has had on athletics in the country, and also the support it has gotten from annual sponsors like Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO).
“Our athletes have been successful since the first year we formed. Some of them have made the CARIFTA team, which is one of the highest competing junior meets in the world; and also many have been to the Junior Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships and the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) Junior World Championships. We continue to send junior athletes to CARIFTA, the CAC and the Pan American Juniors, so this year we’re looking forward to sending more. We’re training the future Olympians of The Bahamas. Corporate support goes a long way in what we try to do, and because of repeat sponsor CWCO, we’re able to provide uniforms and T-shirts for every single athlete on our team.”
Tynes said he established Swift Athletics with the objective of helping “inner-city kids” become professional athletes and obtain scholarships to attend private schools in New Providence and colleges abroad.
“It takes a village to raise a child. What I look at when selecting prospective athletes is the child and the environment that he or she comes from,” said Tynes. “I was inspired to start Swift Athletics because people did this kind of stuff for me. I grew up in humble beginnings in Kemp Road, and went to the highest level – went to the University of Texas at El Paso and became a worldwide competitor and champion because of the help I received from others, so I believe for a country to be productive, we as our former athletes and as good citizens need to give back. We’re not just training these kids to be professional athletes and Olympians, but future law-abiding citizens as well.”
CWCO General Manager Bryan Russell said: “CWCO is proud to support an organization like Swift Athletics that is recognizing the sporting talent we have in our country and also contributing to the overall development of these students not just as athletes, but as citizens.”
Swift Athletics is currently preparing its athletes for qualifying events for the CARIFTA Championships. This year’s CARIFTA Games is set for the Easter Holiday weekend, April 20-22, at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.