Swimmers impress at bmobile’s National Secondary Schools Competition
Port of Spain, Trinidad, February 3, 2017
Holy Name Convent, Port of Spain swam away with highest number of the top awards at the bmobile’s Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago’s (ASATT’s) National Secondary School Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva held recently. Holy Name copped the Best North School, Top Female School and Best Female Team – Non-Competitive awards at the annual swim meet, which has been sponsored by bmobile since 2004. This was the first time that the competition was held at the new centre and it was well attended with a turnout of over 500 students from 56 schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Camille Campbell, TSTT’s Vice President of Marketing, congratulated all the schools for their participation and noted that the standard at the keenly anticipated annual event continues to be high. She indicated that it was an honour for bmobile to be the event sponsor for yet another year and said “It is a truly gratifying experience to have witnessed the growth of the competition over the years and we will continue to support events such as this which provides much-needed support for the development of our youth.”
Wendell Lai Hing, ASATT’s President, thanked bmobile for their continued commitment and support over the years and said “The sponsorship and participation we have gotten from bmobile is second to none. bmobile has always supported aquatics, not just at the club or school level but also at the national level.” Speaking about the future of swimming in Trinidad and Tobago, Lai Hing indicated the meet was a success. “The quality of swimming seen here today is very encouraging and augurs well for the nation.” Hazel Haynes, ASATT Representative and Director and Head Coach at Tidal Wave Aquatics, the competition’s organisers since 2004, agreed and stated, “Today was a really wonderful experience for everyone. We had an excellent turn out from the schools.” She added that including a non-competitive category encouraged a wider participation of students, and hoped that after participating at meets such as this, more swimmers who are really passionate about the sport will move into the competitive category.
Trinity College, Moka copped the Best Male Team – Non-Competitive award. Jason O’Connor, the team’s manager, was happy with his swimmers’ performances and shared that with 23 swimmers, 1 competitive and 22 non-competitive, his school had the largest turnout since he became their manager 4 years ago. “We came here today because it’s good for the boys to get the experience of swimming against their peers from competing schools. I also wanted them to get the opportunity to swim at the new aquatic centre. Hopefully next year we will have an even bigger team.” One of his swimmers, 16-year-old Jonathan Taylor, came 1st in his freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke races and 2nd in the butterfly race, to place 1st overall in the Boys 15 and over, non-competitive division. Taylor shared that he enjoys swimming and it has helped him develop all-round. “Swimming has taught me that if I don’t put in the work, I won’t get the results. I also apply this philosophy to my school work.”
Tobago was represented by Signal Hill and Scarborough Secondary, with the latter winning the Best Tobago School and 3rd Place in the Co-Ed School category. Rochelle Pierre, a former national swimmer and Scarborough Secondary’s assistant coach was also pleased with the outcome of the event. “Some of our students swam better times than at the past swim meets. They are also enjoying this new facility.” One of their students, 16-year-old national swimmer, Ornella Walker, won her backstroke race and came 2nd in butterfly, to place 3rd overall in the Girls 15 and over, competitive division. She agreed with Taylor that effort and determination are required if a person wants to excel in the sport.
The other top awards were: Best East School – Hillview College; Best Central School – Vishnu Boys’ Hindu College; Best South School – Naparima Girls’; Most Improved School – NorthGate College; 2nd Place Female School – Bishops Anstey, Port of Spain; 3rd Place Female School – Bishops Anstey East; 1st Place Male School – Hillview College; 2nd Place Male School – Trinity College East; 3rd Place Male School – St Mary’s College; 1st Place Co-Ed School – NorthGate College; 2nd Place Co-Ed School – Vessigny Secondary; Best Female Team – Competitive – Bishops Anstey East; and Best Male Team – Competitive – Fatima College.