Tuesday, May 21, 2019
HomeSports ScopeSwimming leads the way

Swimming leads the way

Junior swimming is head and shoulders above sister disciplines in The Bahamas.

Just this past Easter weekend, the delegation from the Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) embellished the nation’s sports brand by dominating the CARIFTA Championships in Barbados. The local swimmers tallied 899.50 points to easily outdistance Jamaica (748) and Trinidad and Tobago (676).

Congratulations are in order for Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF) President Algernon Cargill, his fellow executives, coaches and chaperones. However, the view held here is that the parents and guardians are mostly responsible for the consistency of the youthful water stars.

The home mentors of our young swimmers have been incredibly faithful to the cause of swimming development. Although with direct focus on their own children, the parents/guardians community breeds a freshness, and spirit of togetherness that fortify the national swimming program.

Daily, at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Swim Complex at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Center in New Providence, scores of parents/guardians bring the talented ones for training and most of them remain throughout. This serious engagement on their part makes the job of guiding the swimming program much easier for the administration.

Such is the case in Grand Bahama as well. The parents/guardians’ involvement has been crucial these past six years that The Bahamas has topped the power list outright in Caribbean junior swimming. Very often, the folks behind the scenes are glossed over and hardly mentioned during victory receptions and ceremonies.

I shout out to them today.

The BSF owes them a huge debt of gratitude.

The swim parents/guardians set the standard for support of student athletes. Their peers from other sports are not nearly as diligent and dedicated. I give as an example the HOYTES Foundation’s Saturday training camp in Freeport, Grand Bahama. On Saturdays the legendary Coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee is ever present at the park named in his honor on Sergeant Major Road.

The sessions run from 9.m. to noon. Often, upwards of 30 youngsters are dropped off to the camp by parents/guardians. They drop them off and then immediately depart. Rarely is a parent observed staying throughout the session. To add to the uncaring attitude, the times are many, almost every session, when Coach McPhee, or/and his associates are obliged to stay back for as long as a half hour to wait with campers because delinquent parents did not prioritize picking them up on time.

That rich quality present within the swimming parents/guardians’ community is missing elsewhere.

So, while out front being acknowledged for status attained by the national junior swimming program are the administration personnel, let it be known that the parents/guardians have a whole lot to do with the overall success.

• To respond to this column, kindlycontact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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