Several of Barbados’ top junior and senior swimmers were rewarded for their outstanding performances last year, during the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association’s Awards Ceremony held at the Radisson Aquatica Resort on Sunday.
The Barbados swim team which took part in the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Nassau, Bahamas, featured prominently during the ceremony with Danielle Titus winning the Leah Martindale Trophy for being Barbados’ MVP during the meet. Titus won four gold, one silver, and set two age group records, one national record and one CARIFTA record. She achieved 56 age group points for the Barbados team.
The Victor Norville Trophy went to Jack Kirby for achieving the most outstanding swim of the championships based on the FINA ranking system.
Danielle Clarke and Eric Lashley copped the awards for the best female and male open water performances at the CARIFTA Championships. This year the five-kilometre event was held at the Long Wharf Beach in the Bahamas and 70 swimmers competed in the event. Barbados entered four swimmers – two males and two females.
During the CARIFTA Championships Barbadian swimmers participated in 119 individual events and they collected 39 medals – 12 gold, 16 silver, and 11 bronze. Barbados captured 33 individual medals and six relay medals. The swimmers also achieved five age-group, two national and one CARIFTA record. Barbados placed fifth overall out of 24 teams with 445 points.
Barbados’ swimmers also performed well at the Central American and Caribbean Championships (CCCAN) in Trinidad and Tobago last June. The team was made up of 24 swimmers (14 girls and 10 boys). Barbados was represented in a total of 106 individual events, and won 31 medals overall, with nine gold, eight silver and 14 bronze. There were 27 individual medals and four relay medals. A commendable ten, age-group records were set, along with one new national record and one CCCAN record. Among those receiving deserving accolades were Titus, Alex Sobers and Nkosi Dunwoody.
Dunwoody won two gold medals in the 50M and 200M breaststroke and three silver medals in the 400M individual medley, the 200M individual medley and the 100M breaststroke. Dunwoody also set two new Barbados age group records and earned a total of 39 age group points at the championships. He got the award for the top swimming performance at CCCAN.
The 2017 CCCAN Open Water competition took place at Turtle Beach in Tobago and Barbados entered five swimmers. Introduced for the first time in Tobago was a 3KM event for swimmers 12 to 13 years of age. Barbados entered one female swimmer in Amelie Baker in this event and she brought home the gold medal. Eric Lashley, Nathaniel Roach, Danielle Clarke and Rebecca Lashley all took part in the 5 KM event which saw a total of 13 countries made up of 72 swimmers in all. Baker copped the award on Sunday for the best female performance and Roach took the corresponding male award.
Titus and Kirby also represented Barbados at the 4th Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas, in July and performed well.
Titus competed in the 50M, 100M and 200M backstroke events. She was the first alternate in the 100M backstroke finals and the second alternate in the 200M backstroke finals.
Kirby competed in the 50M, 100M and 200M backstroke events. He contested the finals of the 50M and 100M backstroke and set two new 15-17 national age group records in both events. He broke his own record which he set at CARIFTA 2017 in the 50M backstroke of 27:08 with a new time of 27:01, while his 100M backstroke time of 57:01 broke Nicky Neckles (1996) record of 57:91. In the 200m backstroke, Kirby was the first alternate. Both won awards for their efforts.
Titus and Kirby again won awards for their outstanding efforts at the 6th FINA World Championships in Indianapolis, United States.
Hungary was the host country for the 2017 FINA World Championships, a biennial aquatic sports tournament held from July 14 to 30, 2017. A total of 172 countries and approximately 300 athletes participated in this world event. Four athletes took part from Barbados, Lani Cabrera, Hannah Gill, Sobers and Christopher Courtis. On Sunday, Cabrera won the award for the best overall female performance at the meet while Sobers copped the award for the best male performer.
During the night a number of participants received awards for their performances in water polo at the CARIFTA Games, including Suann Spencer, Thea Beckles, Tyrese Beckles, Nathan James, Darien Maynard, Anij Brewster, Rihanna Philips and Fozlo Brewster. Ryan Forde was named coach of the year for water polo.
Synchronised swimmers also had their moment of glory for their efforts at CCCAN in Trinidad in June. Erika Loustric won the award for the best performance of the year in this category. The coach of the year award went to Kiera Bloom.
During the past year, Barbadian swimmers also competed in the Goodwill Swim Meet in Georgetown, Guyana. Barbados was among six other countries (Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Lucia, the Bahamas and Grenada) that took part in the meet. The team was made up of 34 swimmers – 17 boys and 17 girls. They brought home 21 individual medals in total (three gold, three silver and 15 bronze) and six relay medals. Rebecca Lashley, Niel Skinner and Xian Trotman were rewarded for their efforts in Guyana during the championship.
The overall junior swimmers of the year awards went to Aza Dunwoody and Zachary Taylor, while Titus and Sobers won the senior honours.
Swim meets cannot be successful without officials and coaches and pride of place for the official of the year went to Sonia O’Neal, while Antonio Petrolando was adjudged coach of the year. The sponsor of the year award went to Purity Bakeries.