Tension and excitement is building in swimming circles as St Lucia prepares to host the 20th OECS Swimming Championships at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre from January 15-17.
Postponed from the original scheduled date of November 12-14, 2010, due to Hurricane Tomas, the annual event has the two regional powerhouses, Grenada and St Lucia, fine tuning their teams to see who can wrest the title for 2010.
Bringing in their International swimmer Nicholas Coard, the Grenadians have strengthened their team while the St Lucians have the experience of Jean Luc Augier for the boys 18 and over age group.
Drawing from the competitive swim clubs in St Lucia, Racers Swim Club, Sharks Swim Club, Sea Jays Swim Club, Sea Hawks Swim Club and Southern Flying Fish Swim Club, the St Lucians fancy their chances to usurp the Grenadians who have held on to the trophy for the past four years.
St Lucia’s swimming program has demonstrated exponential growth over the past five years with record number of competitive swimmers, regular developmental meets and club growth all contributing to a powerful 34-member swim team primed to defeat the Grenadians.
Augmenting the St Lucian team are the experienced swimmers, coach Jamie Peterkin, Siona Huxley, Jean Luc Augier, Runako Daniel, Jon L Innocent Dolor, Thalia Bergasse, Jordan Augier and David Mayers.
Also expected to make a strong impact on the Championships is the resurgent Antigua swim team, St Vincent swim team and first comers British Virgin islanders.
The Championships have made possible from the sponsorship of Sagicor, LIME, Audi and agents JQ Charles Motor Ltd, LUCELEC and Bank of Nova Scotia.
In other related news, a cheque/sponsorship presentation for the sponsors previously mentioned, takes place today (Saturday) at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre at 2:30pm for the upcoming OECS Swimming Championships.