Members of the Turks and Caicos Swimming Federation, as well as the swimmers who will be representing the TCI at the Carifta Swimming Championship from April 15 to 20, got the opportunity to meet the sponsors of the team on Friday, April 8, at the International School Swimming Pool in Leeward, Providenciales.
Daniel Redmond, President of the Turks and Caicos Swimming Federation told NewslineTCI that it was important that the swimmers meet their sponsors in order to meet and greet the individuals and companies who have committed their financial resources to this expensive undertaking.
“Without these sponsors this wouldn’t happen,” he said. “The cost of sending a team to Barbados is significant. We have to have an overnight stop in Miami on the way there and on the way back…we have to think about those overseas flights and accommodation when we are down there. So, it is not a cheap venture… without our sponsors this simply wouldn’t happen.”
Redmond pointed out that the local swimmers have been toiling year-round as they seek to perfect their craft.
“Swimming doesn’t have an off season. You have to keep preparing. It requires a high degree of mobility. Unlike other sports, you have to keep preparing year-round.
“The swimmers you see attending Carifta this year, they have been practicing for a few years before they get to this standard. They have been training extremely hard…it is not uncommon for swimmers to train two times a day, and hopefully, that is going to be reflected in their results at the Carifta event,” the Swimming Federation President predicted.
With a team of 10 swimmer heading to the regional aquatic competition, Redmond said while they would be represented in the three age groups, would not take part in all events.
He said they would be competing in the four major event strokes – Backstrokes, Breaststrokes, Freestyle and Butterfly. They would also be taking part in the individual medley.
“We aren’t doing every single event at these championships, we are putting swimmers in their best events, and obviously, we will be putting them into some other events, as long it doesn’t affect their best events,” he said.
He added: “We are sending a team of 10 swimmers, so we will not be participating in every single event. What we try to do is to ask swimmers to provide evidence of times, for consideration for selection. So, we use those times, and advice from their coaches, which event is the best for these swimmers.”
Rohan Shearer, who mined silver at the 2019 championship in Barbados, will be returning this year, and Redmond believes the TCI could bag more medals.
“He (Shearer) is going again this year, and he is going from strength to strength,” Redmond said, pointing out that Tajhari Williams, who mined bronze at the Central American and Caribbean (CCCAN) Swimming Federation on June 23, 2021, in The Bahamas, should impress in Barbados.
“We have a number of other swimmers who are getting better and faster all the time. Swimming in the Turks and Caicos Islands is getting from strength to strength. Every year we are getting a little bit better, and we are seeing more and more success.
“So, I don’t think this year would be any different. And more importantly, we are going to see a lot of people setting personal best times, so that is going to be really exciting,” Redmond pointed out.
Responding to the question of medal prospects for the current crop of players, Redmond pointed out that the team’s success does not solely center on medal collection but improved times also.
“I don’t think the success of the team hinges on winning a medal, although a lot of people have been asking me if we are going to win any medals. There is a strong possibility of that, but if somebody was to come forward and set a lifetime personal best, simply because the competition is stronger that year, obviously I would consider that to be a successful participation. What I would like to see is as many people setting as many personal bests as possible,” he said.