Top swimmers ready to make a splash at National Swimming Championships
After a spectacular winning performance on the CARIFTA 2019 regional stage, swimmers are diving headfirst into the Bahamas Aquatic Federation’s (BAF) 48th National Swimming Championships this June.
Erald Thompson, assistant treasurer of BAF, said spectators can look forward to a wonderful and exciting time, with new records being set when the athletes hit the water at the Betty-Kelly Kenning Aquatic Centre between June 20 and June 24.
Jamilah Hepburn, who has been swimming for six and half years, said she lives for the competition.
“There are a lot of things I like about swimming, but what I like most is the competition, because I love the adrenaline rush before a race and after a win. So the National Swimming Championships as well as other meets are a big deal to me,” Hepburn said.
She further explained, “I started swimming as part of my physical therapy following a leg injury. The doctor recommended swimming and I liked it, so I never stopped. It was a really big part of my recovery and now I definitely plan to pursue it professionally and swim in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Competitions like this help me prepare for that in the future.”
The team recently received sponsorship support from CIBC FirstCaribbean when Nikia Christie, marketing manager at CIBC FirstCaribbean, visited the swimmers during one of their practice sessions at the pool.
“We know The Bahamas has many talented swimmers. This year our CARIFTA team accomplished an amazing feat by winning the regional meet for a third year in a row. This sport not only encourages healthy competition and physical activity, it also provides educational opportunities and promotes positive youth development – a major focus of our bank’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. So CIBC FirstCaribbean is proud to come on board as a corporate sponsor to support the young athletes as they prepare for the upcoming National Swimming Championships,” Christie said.
Georgette Albury, team manager for CARIFTA 2018 and 2019, said: “Swimming is a year-round event and this sponsorship will go a long way, even beyond the nationals. We will use this money to take the swimmers to international meets. They recently just came back from CARIFTA – which they won for the third time in a row with 73 medals total – and right after nationals they’ll be competing in CCCAN.”
Thompson said; “I think our country is a melting pot of talent when it comes to sports. A lot of Bahamians are into baseball, swimming, track and field and other sports, and they always perform well on the international stage. Our athletes need support, and I hope that the government and corporate Bahamas value these kids more and show that through donating more to the Bahamas Aquatics Federation.
“We’d also like to say thank you to the corporate sponsors who did help us this year, including CIBC FirstCaribbean. We couldn’t have the Bahamas National Swimming Championships without them,” he added.
The four-day and eight-session meet promises to be an exciting one.