It has been an eventful two months for Lightning Aquatics (LA) Swim Club. Let’s start with the latest happening. On Sunday, June 24th, the club held its Annual General Meeting which provided a platform for members to receive an update on the club’s financial performance, an overview of the club’s activities and plans for the remainder of 2018. According to LA’s President, Tessa Charles-Louis who retained her position, “We are thankful to everyone who served on the old executive and we look forward to the new members who have pledged to give of their time and talents which will undoubtedly allow for LA to continue to shine in and out of the pool”.
The other members elected to form LA’s new Executive for the next two years are: Vice President – Sabby Lesporis-Hazell; Treasurer – Ronald Charles; Secretary – Aretha Auguste; Fundraising Officer – Loyola Edwin; Membership Officer – Dr. Joanne Mills-Felicien; Public Relations Officer – Karetta Crooks Charles and Assistant Treasurer/Assistant Secretary – Louise Clery.
LA Swimmers were also acknowledged at the Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association’s (SLASA) 2017 Awards held on June 10th. Naima Hazell copped numerous awards – Girls 11 to 12 age group Award, Breaststroke Awards, Most Improved Swimmer (Girls) and Junior Swimmer (Girls) of the Year Awards.
Whilst Karic Charles received the award for the Boys 9-10 age group. Other LA swimmers who received awards were Naekeisha Louis and Ethan Hazell for participating in regional meets in 2017, namely OECS and Goodwill. Naima and Karic also received certificates of participation for these two regional meets.
Additionally, whilst LA did not retain the first place OECS Team at the 27th Annual Aquatic Centre International Invitation 2018 (BASA) held in the latter part of May in Barbados. The club is extremely proud to have walked away as the 1st place Saint Lucian team, 2nd place OECS team and placing 6th overall out of 18 clubs. We amassed 21 medals – 6 Gold, 6 Silver and 9 Bronze. Records were broken by Naekeisha Louis and Naima Hazell in the Girls 11 to 12 – 50m Butterfly, with Naima setting a meet record; in the 50m Breaststroke Naima went on the set both a meet and age group record and this little bullet yet again set another record in the 50 m Free. Special mention must be made of LA’s Girls 11-12 relay ‘A’ team comprising Courtney Paul, Angelique Gaillard, Naekeisha Louis and Naima Hazell for putting on 3 electrifying races in which they snatched 1 gold and 2 silver medals. Other medal winners were: Chloe Thomas (Girls 15 & over) – bronze in the 100m Backstroke and 100m Breaststroke; Karic Charles (Boys 9-10) – silver medals in the 50m Breaststroke and 50m Butterfly and a bronze in the 50m Backstroke; Ethan Hazel (Boys 9-10) – bronze medals in the 50m Breaststroke and 200m Freestyle and Andre Samuel (Boys 15 & over) – bronze in the 200 IM.
Coach Marlon James who accompanied the swimmers to Barbados said, “Lightning Aquatics did extremely well considering that we only do two long course meets (meets held in a 50m pool) annually. I am extremely proud of our first time long course meet swimmers, especially Alexandra Bristol (Girls 9-10) who swam remarkably well. Kudos also to Jeannot Walters Jnr. (Boys 13-14) who had a strong meet. Overall, our swimmers looked amazing in terms of technique and I am very proud of them all.”
What’s next on the swimming calendar? LA swimmers are excited to participate in the Karen Beaubrun Swim Meet at the Rodney Heights Aquatics Centre on June 30 – July 1, 2018. LA will also be cheering for the entire 9 member national team participating in the CCCAN games in Aruba from June 29 – July 3, 2018. The club is extremely proud that for a small team two of its members, Naima Hazell and Naekeisha Louis, will be ‘digging deep’ in true LA style as they not only represent their team but the entire island. Kudos to LA’s Peter James who is ably serving as the Coach for Saint Lucia’s CCCAN team.
Special thanks to The Oliver Gobat Sports Fund (TOGS), King Ocean Services, Financial Centre Corporation, Hotel Chocolat Rabot Estate and Windward and Leeward Brewery for their generous sponsorship which continues to foster critical exposure for LA swimmers in the regional sphere. Check us out on Facebook at Lightning Aquatics Swim Club to learn how you can become a part of this family oriented swim club.