THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY of the Aquatic Centre is a significant milestone in the history of aquatic sports in Barbados. Conceived and created by Mssrs Maurice Foster and Angus Edghill, Mrs Anne Shepherd and Mrs Katie Gale this plant paved the way for many aspiring young people to develop their skills in the three aquatic disciplines- swimming, water polo and synchronized swimming. It has become the home of excellence- from toddlers to Olympians.
Through a sustained relationship with our sports partners- The Barbados Olympic Association and the National Sports Council, we have been able to maintain a facility that is admired by many other regional federations and international Associations. This is evident by the many university teams that come every winter for their winter training at the AC. We have also hosted major competitions such as Carifta, CISC and CCCAN.
We are proud to have nurtured seven Olympians who all had their genesis in the pool at the Aquatic Centre. Leah Martindale was the first to graduate from the Aquatic Centre and become the first black female to qualify for an Olympic Final. Indeed many of our athletes compete at the major international meets such as The CAC Games, World Championships, Pan American Games and the Commonwealth Games.
One thousand school children benefit from basic swim training and water safety every week in the Maurice Foster Learn-to-swim pool through a joint programme with the National Sports Council. Many of these children transition eventually to the 50 metre pool and later become competitive swimmers.
The other disciplines of water polo and synchronized swimming make up the triad of Aquatic sports at the Aquatic Centre. Water polo has represented Barbados in regional and international competitions over the years and is now entering another phase of development. Synchronized swimming is also in a developing stage and last year represented Barbados in the CISC and this year in CCCAN.
I wish to acknowledge the great contribution of our coaches, in all disciplines. They have given invaluable service to the Aquatic Centre and to Barbados. by making sure that our children are confident in the water and that they reach their full potential. I thank the Cuban coaches who have made a great contribution to the development of swimming in Barbados.
We are proud of our many officials who have trained in technical areas to officiate at competitions, parents who time at competitions, who raise funds and who ferry children and car pool to and from the pool when most people are still asleep.
Our management team and pool staff works assiduously to make sure that the strictest standards of health and safety are maintained to ensure that our members, our tenants and visitors operate in a safe environment. I also thank my fellow Officers and Council members and those who served in similar capacities over twenty five years for their contributions to the management of the Aquatic Centre. We could not achieve our level of success without the support of many sponsors. I wish to express my thanks to you for sharing this journey with us. Suffice it to say I could not mention everyone in this message but each of you represents a part of our success.
As we embark on our next twenty five years let us go forward with energy and enthusiasm, just like our founders did, with vision and commitment toward bigger and greater achievements.
Happy 25th Anniversary.
BASA would like to offer our congratulations to Damon St. Prix, as he set a new Barbados National Age Group Long Course Record of 53:29 in the Boys 13-14 100M Freestyle. The previous record of 54:27 was held by Barbadian Olympic Swimmer Damian Alleyne, and set back in July 1998. Damon was competing at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.