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Saint Lucian Swimmers Capture Silver at CARIFTA

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Monday, April 15, 2002 – St. Lucian swimmers Natasha George and Bradford Worrell, both captured silver medals at the recently-concluded CARIFTA games in Barbados. This is the first time St. Lucian swimmers have won medals at the CARIFTA Swimming Championship, since its inception twelve years ago.

According of President of the Saint Lucia Swimming Association, Paula James, who accompanied the athletes, it was a glorious moment for the entire Saint Lucian team who all worked hard ensuring the first time outstanding record.

According to James, the event was very competitive as there were a number of more experienced persons from the Caribbean taking part in the swimming competition. “We are doing that with a twenty five meter pool after a year and a half, and I think for us to go any further we must come up with a fifty meter pool. Not just to host international meet but our swimmers must get experience. We have to go out more often to get serious competition. At home is not enough. We are trying to do some work with the French. We have arranged some things with Jamaica and we are going to try our best to go. It will be a lot of fund raising, a lot of hard work but I promise whether I am on the next executive I will fight to the hardest to make sure that we do as much as we can to get a fifty meter pool.”

Permanent Secretary in the Department of Youth and Sports, Ernest Hillarie, was among a group of well-wishers who welcomed the athletes at the George F.L Charles Airport Monday. Commending the young people for their outstanding performance Mr. Hilaire said the performances were achieved as a result of hard work, commitment and consistency. “I think the writing was on the wall for the swimmers of Saint Lucia for the past few years, a lot of hard work, a lot of commitment has been shown towards swimming by the association, by the parents, by the coaches and the swimmers themselves and we all knew it was just a matter of time before we won medals. I think it is historic, you are infact the first persons to win medals at the Carifta level and I am sure it is just again a matter of time before you start to get gold medals, a matter of times before you begin to win international medals. This is the dream you must have for yourselves and for swimming and I want to encourage you to continue to train hard.”

The swimmers have commenced further training for the upcoming games regional competitions. The team travels to Manchester in July to participate in the Commonwealth Games.


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