Five Countries for August 19 – 21 Event.
THE countdown has begun with just 35 days to go St. Lucia hosts the 22nd Goodwill Swim Championship from August 19 to 21 at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre.
The St. Lucia Amateur Swimming Association says wheels are in motion for a proper execution of the event as plans are moving smoothly to welcome some of the Caribbean’s best junior swimmers.
The Goodwill Swim Championship is a developmental one for swimmers who are not eligible to participate in the CARIFTA championship, the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championship (CISC) or the Central America and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Association (CCCAN) championship in the current year.
According to the Carol Mangal, who was recently re – elected as president of the Association for a second term “The National Swimming Federations of Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and host St Lucia are the members making up the Goodwill family. As the host country St. Lucia has extended an invitation to the National Swimming Federation of the Bahamas to be the ‘Guest Team’ for the 2016 competition”.
Mangal added: , “The five national federations will have a maximum of 40 swimmers – four boys and four girls in the age groups 8 and under, 9 – 10, 11 – 12, 13 – 14 and 15 – 17. The age of the swimmer on December 31, 2015 will determine the age group in which the swimmer is eligible to compete at the meet. The official delegation of each team will also include eight officials; team manager, coaches and chaperones. The visiting teams are expected to travel with well over 300 supporters”.
The Official Games Village is the Bay Gardens Hotel located in Rodney Bay.
The member countries of the Goodwill Swim Meet host the meet on an annual rotation basis and this is the first time it will be held in St. Lucia. Last year the meet was held in Trinidad and Tobago and in 2017 it will be held in Guyana.
St. Lucia’s team of 40 swimmers will be selected and announced to the public in the coming days.
Mangal said, “the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports will be providing additional seating to accommodate the 300 plus visitors and locals alike, while large tents will be placed outside on the western end of the RHAC for the 240 participants. Registration of athletes for their respective events will be done on the outside as well.
The SLASA President thanked the Government of St. Lucia (Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, The St.Lucia National Lotteries Authority, Bay Gardens Resorts, the St. Lucia Olympic Committee Inc., CIBC First Caribbean Bank International, FLOW, Invest St.Lucia and Build Youth Leaders in Sports for their support.
Meanwhile, Mangal is hoping that in the days leading up to the event many other organizations will come on board to pledge their support for what is expected to be a thrilling event. Like previous meets at the RHAC, the SLASA is appealing to all and sundry to come out in large numbers to witness one of the best swimming events ever hosted in St. Lucia.