Eighth place may not sound like an achievement, but for the children of Lightning Aquatics (LA) Swim Club it most certainly is. Members of the club received certificates and medals on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Pigeon Island National Landmark. The Club amassed a total of 244 points at the recently held Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre Invitational Swim Meet which was held from March 31 to April 3, 2016 in Saint Lucia. With only 20 swimmers competing, the youngsters ranging from ages 7 to 15 years fought hard over the 4 days to come in at 8th place out of 24 clubs from Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda.
Of the 47 medals received, the swimmers copped 5 gold, 9 silver, 11 bronze, 8 medals for 4th place, 1 medal for 5th place, 6 for 6th place, 4 for 7th place and 3 for 8th place. Many of the swimmers achieved personal best times and some even set new records during the swim meet, those setting records were Karic Charles, Ethan Hazel and Naima Hazel. Two swimmers captured 3rd place in their respective age groups, Naima Hazel for Girls 10 – 11 and Ethan Hazel for Boys 7 to 8.
Amidst the joy of bearing the fruits of their hard work, the children sadly bade farewell to one of their coaches, David Mayers who has embarked on a new chapter in his coaching career. Drained by the competition, some swimmers expressed their desire to increase their pool time in order to improve their performance at the next meet. According to the Club’s President, Mrs. Tessa Charles-Louis, “Lightning swimmers continue to show their resilience not letting any challenges affect them, I am extremely proud of my swimmers they are true champions. To the rest of our LA family I say thanks for your continued support, lets continue to work together to achieve even greater accomplishments for the remainder of 2016!” The President also indicated that the swimmers met their new Coaches, former national swimmers, Marlon and Peter James at the certificate presentation ceremony. The coaches join Head Coach, Stefania Quaranta-Felix and a senior swimmer who will soon join the team as a trainee coach.
LA Swim Club, albeit small in size, has a few accolades under its belt. LA received the Club of the Year Awards for the 35th and 36th National Sports Awards held in 2015 and 2016 respectively, as well as 3rd Place at the Capri Sun National Time Trials held in October 2015. Lightning Aquatics has been providing opportunities for recreational and competitive swimmers from various socio-economic background since 2011. Special thanks to West Indies Shipping, Yamaha, St. Lucia Mortgage and Finance, Cyber Eye Security, Mr. Neville Edwin and Mr. Jano James for their financial contribution towards the purchase of the club’s redesigned t-shirts. For more information about LA Swim Club and how you can become a part of this family oriented group please email [email protected].