Covid-19 has affected the entire world and by extension the Caribbean reCovid-19 has affected the entire world and by extension the Caribbean region with the postponement and cancellation of several sporting events to include the Carifta track and field championships which was scheduled for Bermuda over the Easter weekend. 

It was also a no show for this year’s CARIFTA Swim Championship which was slated for the Easter weekend in Barbados.  Saint Lucia Aquatic Federation Public Relations Officer Sue Monplaisir spoke to the VOICE about SLAF’s disappointment and how much the COVID -19 virus has affected training.

“The Executive and swimmers alike are extremely disappointed. Some would have been competing at that level (CARIFTA Swim championship) for the first time and for others this would have been their last year taking into consideration the selection age group,” she noted.

Monplaisir continued, “All the swimmers are also well aware of the situation and understand what’s going on at present.”

The Saint Lucia squad which had been selected for the games included:  11-12 Antoine Destang (Sharks), Karic Charles and Ethan Hazell (Lightning Aquatics), Tristan Dorville and Therron Herelle (Seajays Swim Club), 13 – 14 Naima Hazell (Lightning Aquatics), Naekeisha Louis (Lightning Aquatics), Courtney Paul (Lightning Aquatic), D’Andre Blanchard (Seajays Swim Club), 15-17 Mikaili Charlemagne (Sharks Swim Club), Jayhan Odlum Smith (Seajays Swim Club), Terrel Monplaisir (Seajays Swim Club).

Some of Saint Lucia’s top male swimmers can’t wait to get back into action. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

In terms of rescheduling the CARIFTA Swim Championship the SLAF representative said, “The CARIFTA executive members have not held any meeting as yet as to determine whether the championship will be postponed to later in the year, or whether it will be cancelled.”

“As it relates to local training,” she added. “The Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre (RHAC) pool cannot resume operation until the relevant authorities have given permission to do so. In the meantime, the various clubs have been engaging their swimmers in land training and keeping active.”

A few of Saint Lucia’s top female swimmers dive right in. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

SLAF has taken the initiative and challenged its swimmers with a Keep Fit Land Challenge. Monplaisir said, “We encourage our swimmers to record their land training session with the federation where it’s posted on Facebook and Instagram.”

With 346 days to go for Saint Lucia to host the 36th edition of the CARIFTA Swim championship, Monplaisir noted, “We have been in discussion with the government with absolutely no pressure keeping in mind other things are on the priority list. However, SLAF is optimistic all will proceed as planned.”

SLAF continues to plan for 2021; however, keeping in mind that everyday shows its new challenges. We remain optimistic.”

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy... Read full bio...

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