From April 5th – 8th, 2018 the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre (RHAC) in Saint Lucia held their 19th Invitational swim meet. Participating was the Black Sands Swim Squad of St Vincent and the Grenadines, arguably the number one swim club from the island.
The Black Sands Swim Squad had a 14-swimmer contingent in attendance, part of the 22 club competition, with over 300 swimmers from across the region.
Leading the way for Black Sands, and following her siblings’ example of success in the pool was 10-year-old Jamie Joachim. She swam herself to 6 medals – 2 Golds in the 200-metre Fly and 800-metre Free; 3 Silvers in the 200-metre Back, 100metre Fly, and 400-metre Free); and 1 Bronze which was in the 200-metre Free.
Joachim was also brave enough to take part in the open water event placing 10th in her age group.
Akayla Crichton won 1 Gold, 2 Silvers, and 2 Bronze, and ended the competition placing 3rd overall in her age group.
The Defreitas siblings, Aaron and Mya both graced the podium. Mya won 2 Gold, 2 Silver, and 1 Bronze medal, in the process, breaking broke the St. Vincent and the Grenadines national 800-metre Free and 100-metre Fly, finishing 3rd overall in her age group.
Her brother Aaron brought home 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.
8-years-and-under swimmer Kathryn Cumberbatch competed in her first regional competition, and managed to successfully win a place on the podium, receiving a Bronze medal in the 25-metre Freestyle.
Adriel Bullock, Abigail Deshong, Bryson and Brandon George, Tia Gun Munro, Kyle John, Tyrese Lewis, Anwar Medjahed, and Mornnell Ollivierre were the other member of the Black Sand swimmers.
All swam personal best times in many of their events, and Black Sands Swim Squad placed fifth overall out of the 22 clubs.
At the Commonwealth Games in Australia, swimming head coach Kyle Dougan was delighted to hear the news of the team’s achievements. He extended congratulations to all the swimmers and parents that attended the competition.