Press Release:-The Marigot Swim Club, offering free, professional swimming lessons for Marigot kids started on Thursday 22nd September. Sponsored by Complete Marine Services (CMS) and the Rainforest Hideaway Restaurant, the sessions will be held every week at 4pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Marigot children spend a lot of time on the beach and in the water and many of them are naturally good swimmers.
But the kids themselves admit that if they want to compete against teams in the north of the island, they need intensive coaching to improve their style and stamina.
Joya, aged 12, explained, ‘for a while I was training at the Aquatic Centre in Rodney Bay, but it was a long way to go twice a week, and very expensive! I look forward to coming home from school and being in the water within ten minutes. That still leaves me time to do my homework.’
The First Pop-Up Pool in the Caribbean?
There’s no Olympic size pool in Marigot, so the companies sponsoring the club, (CMS and Rainforest Hideaway) decided to build one on the calm open water of inner Marigot Bay.
‘It was more difficult than we expected’ said Kelsey Kerridge of CMS. ‘Anchoring the swim platform securely was complicated and when we unpacked the ropes and floats we imported to set up the lanes, we realized they were not designed to cope with tides and water movement from passing boats.’
However, with effort and ingenuity on the part of the CMS engineering team, suddenly, there it was. Marigot residents and visitors were surprised to see a three lane pool appear unexpectedly by the Rainforest Hideaway restaurant dock.
Ezra Small, S.T.A., S.T.C.B and an STA certified instructor, national lifeguard and lifesaving coach helped design the programme and will be running it with the assistance of another coach and volunteers from CMS.
Says Ezra, ‘I am inspired by this project because I know there are strong and talented swimmers in Marigot and this is the first chance they have had to get consistent training right here for free. I am sure that there will be some Marigot swimmers competing at inter-Caribbean swim meets in the future and maybe even representing St Lucia at the next Olympics.’
Support from the children’s parents or guardians is encouraged and there is a selection and assessment procedure which ensures that all new members understand the commitment that is required of them and are prepared to put in the time and practice to make it all worthwhile.
All applicants must be able to swim and will be assessed before being accepted onto the team.