With life slowly returning to some kind of normalcy and with the reopening of beaches around the island, the executive members of the reigning Club of the Year, Lightning Aquatics (LA), have pooled together ideas and in the process have found creative ways to keep their members in tip-top shape hopefully for any swimming engagements later down the year.
President of LA, Tessa Charles-Louis spoke to the VOICE about the club’s latest innovative training session at the Pigeon Island National Park. She said, “The beach programme officially started last week but we have been preparing and testing from the beginning of June.”
Charles-Louis explained, “It would not have been possible without the assistance of the coaches and parents… they all volunteered their time. We train twice a week; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. So far we have 10 swimmers but hope to see more swimmers back in the water come July.”
She also expressed her elation at seeing persons enjoying the beach for the first time in a long while. Charles-Louis said, “LA members were very happy to be swimming again. It will go down in our record book, as this is the longest consecutive period ever they haven’t swum.”
“It’s a chance for our junior swimmers to get in the water. At RHAC we only have seniors in training, so we do three pool days with seniors and two beach days with a mix,” she noted.
In terms of social distancing and the various protocols for swimming, she said, “With the space at the beach it is easy to social distance. The parents are there as well to provide assistance. We do the same as at RHAC, two swimmers per lane.”
At present, LA has a membership total of 41 swimmers to include 3 coaches, and well-known names such as members of the 2019 OECS swim team – Ethan Hazell, Naima Hazell, Karic Charles, Naekeisha Louis, Courtney Paul, Alexander Bristol and Aron Charles.
According to Charles-Louis, “There is one swimmer who goes by the name of Jeannick Clement; a form five student at the Ciceron Secondary School. Jeannick learnt how to swim through the Grassroots Programme in 2018 and is now a member of LA and is doing extremely well; certainly, one to watch closely going forward.”
The LA boss took the time out to thank the Saint Lucia National Trust for their assistance provided to date.