Swimmers of the Lightning Aquatics (LA) Swim Club were in the spotlight on Sunday, February 5, 2017 for their 2016 Awards held at the Bay Gardens Hotel, Rodney Bay. The proceedings were led by the swimmers who served various roles and even displayed their versatility by entertaining the audience with a dance performance of Teddyson John’s ‘Allez’ choreographed by LA’s Assistant
Treasurer, Mrs. Brenda Edwin. While LA’s multi-talented Ethan Hazell delivered a spirited performance of Aaron Duncan’s ‘Can you feel it?’
Celebrating with the swimmers were the Member of Parliament for Gros Islet – Honourable Lenard Montoute; Mr. Ligorius Marquis – Representative from the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports; President of the Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association – Mrs. Carol Mangal and guest speaker, Dr. Vernetta Lesporis – Curriculum Specialist for Physical Education in the CAMDU Unit-Ministry of Education. Considering the aptly selected theme for the awards ‘Aiming for the Stars with Every Stroke’, Dr. Lesporis delivered a motivational speech which hopefully inspired the swimmers not to rely solely on their talents but to push themselves further not only in swimming but academically. According to Dr. Lesporis, “The best way to develop your talent is to work hard, it’s not the easiest way but it’s certainly the one which has the highest degree of lasting success. Train consistently and always give 100% effort because when you are used to working hard after a while it won’t seem like hard work anymore, it becomes a habit”.
Meanwhile, LA’s President, Mrs. Tessa Charles-Louis pointed out that 2016 began with coaching challenges and the departure of a few key swimmers to other clubs. However, in true LA fashion the club persevered and secured three coaches and one trainee coach. Furthermore, she said, “We participated in all local meets held in 2016 and although our best result was third overall, we continued to amass medals, ribbons and high point age group trophies. Regionally the club participated in the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association Invitational where we placed 7th out of 15 teams and 3rd in the OECS and our swimmers also did exceptionally well at the Amateur Association of Trinidad and Tobago Invitational, where LA copped one bronze and two gold medals and one of our swimmers was the only Saint Lucian to break a record”.
The celebration continued in fine style as swimmers walked away with numerous awards. The Most Consistent award went to Yannick Layne & Naima Hazell, while the Most Improved were Chloe Thomas & Courtney Junia Paul (Female)/Akim Ernest & Jeannot Walters (Male). The Most Versatile were Naekeisha Louis & Lovelle Mottley (Female) and Ethan Hazell and Neil Auguste (Male).
Stroke Awards for best technique in Butterfly – Yannick Layne / Naekeisha Louis; Breaststroke – Karic Charles / Naima Hazell; Backstroke – Akim Ernest / Naekeisha Louis and Freestyle – Ethan Hazell / Naima Hazell.
The Club Champion awardees for those swiping the highest points in their age groups were Girls 8 and Under – Anneliese Gaillard; Boys 8 and Under – Karic Charles (1st) & Ethan Hazell (2nd); Boys 9 to 10 – Liam Emmanuel; Girls 9 to 10 – Naima Hazell (1st) & Naekeisha Louis (2nd); Girls 11 to 12 – Britney Edwin (1st) and Gabrielle Soomer (2nd); Boys 11 to 12 – Akim Ernest (1st) & Jeannot Walters (2nd); Girls 13 to 14 – Joesha Daniel (1st) & Lovelle Mottley (2nd) and Boys 13 to 14 – Yannick Layne (1st) and Nathan Sherman (2nd). Team player trophies were presented to Andre Samuel, Steffy Clery, Angelique Gaillard, Aliyah Henry, Simone Walters, Diandre Edwin and
Rojan Felicien. Certificates of Participation, Exemplary Discipline, Punctuality and Attendance were also presented. While three of LA’s nine Learn to Swimmers present – Simoni Maraj-Straugh, Aaron Charles and Jahson Felix received certificates of participation and a medal as a prelude to the many others they will receive in years to come. Tokens were also given to supporters, which included Mr. Anthony De Beauville of the Voice Publishing who continuously attends swim meets and publicizes the sport to the rest of Saint Lucia.
The Coach’s Award was given to Nakaeisha Louis who also tied with Naima Hazell for the Swimmers’ Choice Award, while Yannick Layne copped that category for the males. The final award given for the evening was for Swimmer of the Year which went to Naima and Ethan Hazell (1st) and Naekeisha Louis and Karic Charles (2nd).
The Executive of the Lightning Aquatics Swim Club thanks all its sponsors and supporters for making the awards a success. Check us out on Facebook at Lightning Aquatics Swim Club for photographs from the awards and to learn how you can become a part of this family oriented swim club.