Members of the Lucayan Lightning Swim Team pose with FINA Members following a training session at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club. Kneeling : Shannon Albury and Andre Levarity. 2nd Row from left: Dustin Tynes, Joanna Evans, Taryn Smith, Maya Albury, Peter Farquharson and Aaron Levarity. Back Row: Sean Anderson (FINA), Lightning Coach Andy Loveitt and Ben Sheppard (FINA).
Freeport, Grand Bahama - FINA, the international governing body of swimming, recently sent two representatives to the Bahamas, courtesy of The Bahamas Swimming Federation. On Saturday 13th November, Ben Sheppard and Shaun Anderson visited the Lucayan Lightning Swim team at the G.B. Yacht Club to observe and assist a regular training session conducted by coach Andy Loveitt. Both representatives spoke in superlatives about the swimmers, coach and the program.
Ben Sheppard described the swimmers as "people who have goals " with the ability to lead the nation in the swimming arena. He said that the children were very lucky to be working with such a tough and committed coach whose knowledge and desire for the children to achieve is very impressive. The swimmers were encouraged to "dream big" and were commended for performing so well under relatively difficult conditions. Shaun Anderson said that this group could be considered a "new wave" of swimmers in the Bahamas with an "awesome" program being offered to them. Both representatives described the "Swimming Centres of Excellence" already established in the United States. They emphatically stated that the work being done at G.B. Yacht Club with the Lucayan Lightning Swim Team clearly deserves the title, "The Bahamian Centre of Excellence".
After a successful session at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club the coaches are all smiles in anticipation of great accomplishments from the Lightning Team members. Shaun Anderson (FINA), Lucayan Lighting Coach, Andy Loveitt, and Ben Sheppard (FINA).
Since that visit in November, the members of the Lucayan Lightning Swim Team have worked steadfastly to improve the technical aspects of their strokes and races and to ultimately improve their swim times. With January being the start of the swimming season the Lightning team members are working extra hard to maintain the high standard which they have already set for themselves. Several of the senior swimmers are working toward once again capturing positions on the Bahamas National Swim Team while inspiring the juniors to set high goals in the sport and so far they are off to a good start.
Lauren Albury: Little Lightning Strikes: Lightning bolt Lauren Albury smiles as she waits for her competition to reach the finish line behind her.
While attending the 2011 Insurance Management Barracuda Invitational Swim Meet in Nassau, over the weekend of January 14th and 15th, noteworthy performances were turned in by those swimmers attending. Coach Andy Loveitt says that he is pleased with his swimmers performances but he continues to set the bar high because he sees the potential in each child and will work toward fulfilling it.
Special mention should be given to Lauren Albury who won the first place overall trophy with an outstanding performance in girls age 9-10 category with 5 first place finishes and 1 second place finish. Joanna Evans came away with the third place overall trophy in the girls 11-12 yrs. category with 3 first place finishes, 1 second place and 1 fourth place. Other swimmers participating in the meet were Dustin Tynes who had 3 first place and 1 second place finishes. Peter Farquharson ended the meet with 3 second place finishes and 1 third place finish in the boys 15 and over category. Tynes and Evans were successful in obtaining CARIFTA qualifying times bringing them one step closer to national team status.
The Lucayan Lightning team members hope to continue this wave of momentum throughout the season and with the guidance of their coach Andy Loveitt, they plan on doing just that.