The British Virgin Islands Swimming Federation will field a seven-member team to the 21st Annual OECS Swimming Championships set to take place in St. Lucia November 4-6, 2011.
Team Coach, Elsworth Phillip said that the team is an increase from last year, when the BVI fielded just two swimmers. Elinah and Amarah Phillip competed and medalled at the 20th Annual OECS Swim Championships in St. Lucia in 2010.
Since the 2010 competition, Phillip said that the Makos Swim Club has provided exposure for local swimmers through a two week competitive swim camp at the Nova Southeastern Aquatic Center in Davie, Florida.
‘We are seeing more persons getting involved in swimming. We have been training Mondays to Fridays at Prospect Reef and the team was selected based on consistency and performances. We could have taken more swimmers, but some of our local swimmers do not feel they are ready at this stage and have asked for more time to train,’ Phillip said.
He added that the local team, while fielding more swimmers this year than last year, is still relatively small when compared to other countries in the OECS competition like St. Kitts and Antigua, who are likely to send over 20 swimmers to the competition.
Local competitors are swimming against the tide due to lack of financial support and proper training facilities, but they continue to forge ahead with their different programs.
The team will depart the BVI on November 3 and will return on November 7.