On Saturday, June 11th Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre hosted the 10th Developmental Swim Meet. This meet, designed specifically for swimmers who are learning to swim and never participating in a SLASA sanctioned event, hosted 139 swimmers from the various swim clubs.
During this event, Sports Academy – St Lucia entered 9 swimmers consisting of 8 male and 1 female. Chenia Hosam, 12, the only girl who participated for Sports Academy, performed well in all 3 events. Showing the courage she entered the 25M Breast, 25M Freestyle, and 25M Backstroke. Her mother, Sheri Hosam, stated “This was her first time taking part in such an event. I knew she would do well because she likes this sport. Even if she didn’t do well, the experience is great for her.”
Regarding the other 8 entrants by Sports Academy, the majority come from disadvantaged backgrounds and is part of The Academy’s “Sports for All” program. Working with groups such as C.A.R.E., Crisis Centre, BTC and individual families, Sports Academy teaches life skills through sporting disciplines. The group of 8 boys from age groups 11-12, 13-14, and 15 & over demonstrated great discipline. The development of all of them, especially Vernon King and Stefan Theodore who have been part of the program since 2015 was phenomenal. Vernon finished the 25 M Freestyle and 25 M Breast stroke at the top of his age group with 18.78s and 24.19s respectively. Stefan finished the 25M Freestyle with 17.57s.
While these numbers may not be Olympic or International Standard, their coach, Tobias Mastrocola, always motivates them by saying “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make BIG things happen.” He was overwhelmingly pleased with not only their results but their disposition at the event.
According to Sue Dyson, Sports Academy Trustee – PRO/Marketing, it would be a sad day if this program doesn’t continue. Unfortunately with current economic times, Sports Academy is having difficulty receiving funding and sponsorship for their “Sports for ALL” program which assists its members from various agencies – Crisis Centre, CARE, Boys Training Centre, Transit Home, Upton Girls Garden. Without necessary funding, the Academy will have to selectively continue its various programs not only in swimming but golf, tennis, martial arts, and the coming Summer Performance Camp (set to begin July 11, 2016).
“Our aim is to utilize various sporting disciplines to teach life skills to youth around the entire island of St Lucia. Providing these disciplines at nominal fees, encourages and allows participants to grow into beneficial members of society. Our country needs opportunities like this to continue so we can see growth as a country,” stated Dyson. If you would like to volunteer in the various activities, sporting disciplines or provide financial assistance/donation to Sports Academy please call 285-8894 or 460-8894. You can also email [email protected].