Tuesday, August 7, 2018
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
FOR the fourth consecutive year, coach Shirley Mireault will be taking Team Bahamas to participate in the 24th edition of the Goodwill Games Swim Meet, scheduled for August 17-19 in Bridgetown, Barbados.
This year, the Bahamas will join six other countries, including host Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname. The Bahamas finally became a full member following last year's meet. This year, Jamaica will be the guest country.
The meet is slightly different from the other regional competitions in that there are four swimmers allowed per age group and per sex and three swimmers per event, all who are eligible for medals, but only the top two score for their country.
However, swimmers who participated on their CARIFTA swim teams are not eligible to compete, unless they only competed in the ocean swim. It's a short course meet with all timed finals and at the conclusion of the three days of competition, there is an awards banquet where each country does a cultural presentation for the others.
This year, several other countries will be joining the Bahamas in its usual day of touring the host country before returning home as they try to meet one of the aims of the games, which is to develop goodwill and friendship between the youth of our Caribbean neighbours.
Mireault, who will travel along with team manager Bernadette Robinson and assistant coaches Drew Bastian and David del Cueto when they leave on August 16 and return on August 21, said Team Bahamas, comprised of 11 swimmers from Grand Bahama and a few coming out of the United States of America, is ready for the competition.
"It's a developmental meet, but in this meet everybody gets to swim in a relay once your country is entered," Mireault said. "The highest we've placed in the past was fourth and with the team we have this year, we expect that we will be in the top three. We have a lot of kids who come out of this meet and go on and do very well the next year at the CARIFTA Games."
Team Bahamas will comprise of the following swimmers:
8 & Under Female - Trinity George, Lelah Lewis, Trinity Pratt and Chelsea Smith
9-10 Female - Tia Adderley, Taliyah Bowe, Anjaleah Knowles and Zoe Williamson
11-12 Female - Sienna Culmer-Mackey, Jada Jimenez and Giann Sands
13-14 Female - Kyla Bethel, Rachel Lundy, Liya Moncur and Teja Munnings
15-17 Female - Kaliyah Albury and Jazmine Trotman
8 & Under Male - Damari Butler, Maxwell Daniels, Noah Knowles and Kaylan Williams
9-10 Male - Ayden Bain, Launy Duncombe, Ellie Gibson and Leroy Moncur III
11-12 Male - Msanna Bosland, Joshua Newry and Rondon Williams
13-14 Male - Elbert Cooper, Jayden Curtis, Remez Lockhart and Jason Lord
15-17 Male - T'Lez Foulkes, Ricardo Jolly, Ethan Moxey and Andre Walcott
Two competitors in the 9-10 girls division are excited about making another trip to the meet. "It was awesome and I hope I can get a lot of time off and swim my personal bests," said Taliyah Bowe, an 11-year-old Kingsway Academy student. "It's an awesome experience going to be a meet like this. This is my fourth year and it just feels great to be going back with such a great team."
Bowe, now in her seventh year with the Sea Waves Aquatic Team, said she's looking to improve on the three medals she won in the past at the meet as she specializes in the butterfly and freestyle strokes.
Her team-mate Anjaleah Knowles, also an 11-year-old eight-year member of the Sea Waves Aquatic Team, will be returning for her fourth appearance at the meet as well.
"I met a lot of new people there and so I'm excited to go again and meet more new friends," said Knowles, who has won two medals in the past. "My goal also is to get a gold in the 100 back."
As Mireault is her grandmother, Knowles said she encourages her to go out to do her best and, at the same time, help out some of the younger swimmers in the Sea Waves Aquatic Team. She is following in the footsteps of her daughter, Jacinta Mireault, who competed for the Bahamas in both swimming and track and field at the CARIFTA level.