Swimmers preparation for OECS meet hampered by lack of pool time

BVI Swimmers who competed in St. Thomas on Saturday

BVI Swimmers who competed in St. Thomas on Saturday

By Dean Greenaway

There was something noticeable to BVI Swimming Federation President and Coach Elsworth Phillip on Saturday when his swimmers competed in the St. Thomas Swimming Association meet in their final tune up for the Nov 7-9 OECS Championships in St. Lucia. Some of the swimmers were a bit rusty.

“That’s based on the fact that we had been out of the pool for over a week since we had the storm passing by and the Dolphins had been placed in the pool, hence we had to revert to other conditioning methods,” he explained. “But, in all due respect, I think they swam a good meet, just that they weren’t as sharp as two weeks ago when we swam there.”

They Swimmers were displaced after their training pool at Prospect Reef Hotel was used to house the Dolphins from Swim with the Dolphins at the western end of the property, in anticipation for the passage of Hurricane Gonzalo. The pool was then drained for cleaning forcing the swimmers to find alternate training plans.

When asked what’s needed to tighten up with the OECS Championships just two weeks away, Phillip said he’s hoping his swimmers can get into a pool. “Which pool I’m not sure,” he said. “I guess we’ll have to go and beg someone to use their facility for a couple of days before we head out to OECS or hope that Prospect Reef is back up and running.”

Phillip said with the development of the young athletes, they have been looking for improvements on their personal best times and not just a focus on first second or third place in competition. He said once they produce times it shows some sense of progress.

“Today, some were as far off as 10 seconds and that is basically because we have had to vacate the pool for over a week,” he noted. “We can train any place conditioning wise but you need that pool to hit your turns, your starts—those little fine technical things that we need to address that I think today were weren’t able to capitalize on based on the fact that we were out of the pool. Some weren’t finishing as strong as they possibly could and orienting to the space and knowing where 25m was.”

Phillip said they are going to continue working based on whatever condition or situation presents itself—something they have been doing and will continue to do.