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Press Release:-  It was a September to remember not only for swimmers of the Lightning Aquatics (L.A) Swim Club but also for the various children they reached out to as part of their L.A Brings Smiles Initiative for 2018. On Sunday, September 23rd swimmers and parents delivered food supplies to support the Des Barras Combined School breakfast programme.

Additionally, two school bags filled with supplies were presented to the Principal, Mr. Ezra Joseph for the school’s behaviour modification programme which seeks to reward students’ positive behaviour.

When asked of the impact of the club’s donation, without hesitation Mr. Joseph said, “Our punctuality and regularity have improved. When students get to class usually some would indicate that they have not had breakfast and now we don’t have that because they know if there is nothing at home they can come to school and get something warm and nutritious to eat.” According to L.A’s President, Mrs. Tessa Charles-Louis, “We first reached out to Des Barras in January 2018 with the intention to assist for one term. However, we have developed a bond with the school which now makes it difficult for us to discontinue this initiative considering the tremendous benefits to the 25-30 recipients. Of equal importance, this initiative continues to highlight the need to give back to the community amongst our swimmers and parents.”

On August 29th, we brought more smiles by donating 43 pairs of new and slightly worn school shoes, school supplies and a few school uniforms to the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment. The donation formed part of L.A’s 2nd annual ‘Walk in my Shoes’ Initiative geared at helping students in need to start the school term with the basic necessity, a pair of shoes. Ms. Tanzia Toussaint, Deputy Director of Social Transformation said, “The Ministry wishes to extend profound gratitude to the L.A Swim Club for considering us as one of its esteemed partners in the Walk in My Shoes Campaign for 2018. The donation of shoes and stationery items will assist in complimenting the Ministry’s education assistance packages to less privileged children in the various communities across the island. Thanks again for considering us and we do look forward to strengthening our engagements in the future.”

Meanwhile, our swimmers, parents and coaches met on September 15th for an important goal setting session, motivational talk and celebratory gathering. The session served to officially herald the start of the new swim term which runs from September 2018 to July 2019.

L.A’s very own swim parents, Dr. Joanne Mills Felicien and Mrs. Nickler Velinor-Paul ably led the session which encouraged swimmers to take the necessary measures to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals and identify the objectives that must be pursued in order to achieve their goals. The issue of where fear comes from and how to utilize the hormone that causes it to their advantage was also discussed. As Dr. Mills Felicien puts it, “When you feel fear you can either choose one of the following ‘flight, fright or fight’.” She therefore encouraged the swimmers to choose to rise above their fears and take flight above their obstacles. Meanwhile, Mrs. Velinor-Paul encouraged the swimmers to prepare and visualize every aspect of their races even before they enter the pool. She said this strategy can help to allay swimmers’ fears and build their confidence in preparation for swim meets.

The session was also used to celebrate L.A swimmers who excelled in recent regional competitions as well as academically. Jeannot Walters Jnr., Courtney Paul, Ethan Hazell and Karic Charles received certificates of participation amongst other tokens for their performance at the recent Goodwill Championships held in August in Barbados. Special mention must be made of Courtney and Jeannot who achieved personal best times (improved their times) in many of their events in their debut on a National team. Congratulations to Karic and Ethan who represented both their club and country well walking away with several medals for individual and relay events.

Thereafter, the club presented tokens to Naima Hazell and Naekeisha Louis who performed remarkably well at the recent CCCAN Competition in Aruba. We salute these two L.A swimmers who copped the only medals for Saint Lucia in that competition which had swimmers from over 28 countries in Central America and the Caribbean. First Naekeisha set the stage with a bronze in the 50m butterfly followed by Naima who captured a silver in the 50 freestyle.

In true Lightning style, two of our senior swimmers, Joesha Daniel and Yannick Layne received a certificate and financial token for their outstanding CXC results. While Liam Emmanuel also received the same for his excellent performance in the Common Entrance Examination. To learn more about this family oriented club please email us at lightningaquaticslu@gmail.com or visit us on Facebook at Lightning Aquatics Swim Club.

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