The Antigua & Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) has named a 15-member team for next month’s Carifta Swimming Championships in the Bahamas.
The team comprises 14 pool-based swimmers and two open water competitors, a reduction from last year’s 18-member team to the annual games. One swimmer, Mikaela Holowchak will compete in both the pool and open water categories.
Vice President of the Swimming Federation,
Roy Bento, explained the reduction for this year’s competition.
“We’re actually, I think, two less from last year and I think one or two of those are because we are only taking one open water swimmer as opposed to two more that we had last year. We are right about where we need to be but my only concern, looking at it, is that I am a little disappointed that in the 11-12 category we don’t have any boys going. We have no boys that made the qualifying standard,” he said.
In the pool-based competition, Chelsie Winter will represent in the girls 11-12 category with Gabriella Gittens, Zoe Dennis and Olivia Fuller competing in the 13-14 girls division. Lleyton Martin, Jadon Wuilliez, Alexander Bento and Diallo Marshall will compete in the boys’ equivalent.
Rounding off the pool-based selections, Samantha Roberts, Holowchak and Bianca Mitchell will compete in the 15-17 age category for girls with Noah Mascoll-Gomes, Stefano Mitchell and Daryl Appleton competing in the boys 15-17 category.
Sebastian Gobinet (boys’ 15-17) and Holowchak (girls’ 15-17) will compete in the open water competition.
The swimmers, Bento said, are fresh out of last weekend’s national championships which, he said, went pretty well.
“We had a new meet referee in Emma Martin who is Lleyton’s mom, and she performed very well. We have a very smooth running of the meet this weekend, everything went very well but of course we had the few disqualifications and so on but it went very smoothly,” the vice president said.
This year’s trip to the Bahamas will cost the Swimming Federation between EC $20,000 and EC $30,000, a cost, Bento said, that will be shared with the parents.
He said, however, that they have been well supported by the government over the past few years.
“I have to give credit where credit is due, and the Ministry of Sports has been very supportive of us over the years. Some years they have been able to refund a good portion of that to parents and to the federation who, of course, has to advance the money to get the swimmers there, but the parents themselves dig into their own pockets,” he said.
A total of 26 countries, including Antigua & Barbuda, are carded to compete at the meet set to start April 15 at the Betty Kelly Kenning Aquatic Centre in Nassau.