Holy Name Convent made it three in a row on Sunday 31 January,when they successfully defended their blink | bmobile ASATT National Secondary Schools Swimming title. For the boys, St Mary’s College were the table leaders, dethroning Hill View College, while Scarborough Secondary took the Co-Educational honors from Point Fortin East Secondary.
Over 550 students from 49 schools took part in the annual Tidal Wave Aquatics hosted event, held at the Center of Excellence, Macoya. The event is one of few which allows for non competitive swimmers to come out and compete. This year makes it ten years that blink | bmobile has been sponsoring the annual meet, in which the top male and female swimmers also benefit from a scholarship provided by the Company to assist with training. According to TSTT’s Chief Marketing Officer Camille Campbell, the Company has remained committed to the event as it can clearly see the fruit of its investment. “Many of the present Olympic hopefuls and other national swimmers would have passed through this tournament, so we are seeing where our support is definitely having a positive impact on the youths of our nation,” said Campbell.
Marissa Packett of Holy Name Convent Point Fortin and Gabriel Bynoe of Hill View College emerged as the winners of the blink | bmobile scholarships this year. Meet Manager and Head Coach, as well as Managing Director at Tidal Wave Aquatics, Hazel Haynes commended blink | bmobile for their long-standing support. Admitting that swimming is not one of the easier sports to excel at, she noted that what makes the meet special for the students is that it allows non competitive swimmers to represent their schools. “This meet caters for both competitive and non competitive swimmers. The competitive swimmers have a lot of avenues for testing themselves with the number of clubs and national meets ahead, the non competitive swimmers particularly look forward to this event to participate and be able to represent their schools.”
Holy Name have been able to excel even with a number of non competitive swimmers on their team. Their non-competitive swimmers amassed 184 points, to lead the non competitive swim scores, while their competitive swimmers were 6th on the list, with just 63 points. Their combined total however, ensured that they still secured victory. Team coach, Gabriella Hernandez said she was pleased with the overall performance of her team despite their challenges. “A lot of them are really young and some were changing age groups, but somehow it always comes together.” HNC Team captain, Ami Alexis, admitted however that the team could do a lot better with greater commitment from more of the swimmers. This though, was not the case for the top boy’s school, CIC, which, according to team coach, Lara Littlepage, consists of a number of committed swimmers who pulled the team through. She said one of the few challenges faced by the team this year, was the number of swimmers currently preparing for exams. “We did really well considering we didn’t have our full team, we had thirty-something swimmers instead of our usual fifty-something. We lost the non competitive because some of our key swimmers are focusing on their books,” said Littlepage. Nonetheless, she said they were lucky. “We’re lucky, our swimmers are committed, other schools struggle and its close to Carnival so you can always find an excuse.”
Littlepage went on to commend the organizers of the meet for a well run event, with her sentiments being echoed by Scarborough Secondary Teacher, Cherisse Hector-Trimm, “the meet was really well organized, it went on time and the trophies were really nice,” she said. As it relates to Scarborough’s performance, Hector-Trimm explained that while there is room for improvement, all the swimmers improved on their times when compared with last year’s results. “Compared to the last meet, all their times improved, so me and the coach were really pleased. I know we still need to improve the times, but the fact that it did improve we were grateful for that aspect.” She said the team consisted of just 16 swimmers.